Episode 60

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Published on:

5th Sep 2023

Healing the Grief and How to Support a Loved One After the Loss of a Pet: Part 2 -60

Have you made a mistake while trying to help a loved one cope with grief? Have you been the one who has lost someone and the missteps of others caused you twinges of pain. I think we all have. Grief isn't easy and its not something many of us are good at. Today's conversation is a continuation of the conversation we started last week, so if you haven't already heard episode 59- be sure to start there. Today we get deeper into how to support someone who is grieving the loss of an animal, and how when you have an animal who is like family you are grieving family when that loss happens. It's not a loss that can be easily fixed. Sometimes it seems there are more things you can say wrong than you can say right. Authenticity, setting boundaries, and finding the right community and people for support is key. Our guest vulnerably shares what she went through as she sought grace when she lost her soul companion and talks about saying the thing that is most true for you and leaving judgement out of the conversation. Grief isn't about judgement.

I hope this conversation resonates with you and that you feel supported wherever you are in the grieving process and whomever you've lost whether they walk on two legs or four. Take a minute to head on over to Instagram, follow us and share with us about someone dear to you that you've lost.

Rachel Augusta is a celebrity animal medical intuitive who helps pets internationally heal physically and emotionally by performing energetic surgery on injured, diseased, and aging animals. She's been called upon by Hollywood's biggest stars and MMA Fighters for their own health and the wellbeing of their animals, and she's been featured in The New York Times, CNN, BBC and was the subject of a feature cover story for People Magazine.

Rachel has brought pets back to life after being given mere hours to live, and many of them are still thriving today.

In addition to helping animals live their best lives, she helps those in hospice and their families by performing end-of-life ceremonies and officiating memorial services where people can honor their furry best friends in a comforting and sacred way. Grief is one of her favorite topics because so many are forced to isolate and suffer alone.

Rachel is also a sought-after inspirational speaker and has taught classes worldwide supporting animal lovers in their pet's health and wellness so that they move from reactionary health care to preventative. Her motto is to trust the diagnosis, not the prognosis.

Rachel has an app for people who live with or rescue animals called, EmPAWer; the app teaches free classes on everything a vet won't teach you, from separation anxiety, how to use CBD effectively, navigating cancer and what you should be doing at home, how to prep for natural disasters, grief, trauma, and behavioral issues, it also provides medicinal meditations for you to listen to with your animals to bring health and relaxation into the home. It even has free meditations for people navigating grief.

The EmPAWer app is free and available on all platforms.

Best places to connect with Rachel:

www.rachelaugusta.com

Instagram = @rachel.augusta.empawer

TikTok = @empawered

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Transcript

We feel it is important to make our podcast transcripts available for accessibility. We use quality artificial intelligence tools to make it possible for us to provide this resource to our audience. We do have human eyes reviewing this, but they will rarely be 100% accurate. We appreciate your patience with the occasional errors you will find in our transcriptions. If you find an error in our transcription, or if you would like to use a quote, or verify what was said, please feel free to reach out to us at connect@37by27.com.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

Welcome back to another episode of The Grit Show and a continuation of our conversation on Healing the Grief and How to Support a Loved One After the Loss of a Pet. Today, we are diving into a topic that touches the heart of so many, grief and pet loss. We all know that pets hold a special place in our lives and their loss can be devastating. But how do we navigate the grief and find the right words to express the bond we shared with our furry friends? In this episode, we'll explore the unique and profound relationship we have with our pets, the challenges of grieving their loss, and the importance of providing support and understanding during this difficult time. If you missed the first half, go back to episode 59 and be sure to get that first. We're going to talk about authenticity and setting boundaries as well today. I think this may start a bit of controversy as not everyone is going to agree with the best way to handle some things, and that's okay. The way I handle it is not the way some of you may. And I'm trusting this community to have grace along with our grit and suspend judgment as we all listen with an open heart to this conversation and think about how we might handle it and be understanding that others may need to handle it differently. It's important to be authentic to oneself and your own needs, especially when dealing with grief. You'll understand what I mean later in the show, as we discuss boundaries. We also dive into the misconceptions and inappropriate comments often made to those grieving a pet, as well as the truths around grief and loved ones. You also learn about some incredible supports, resources, and a community for those experiencing this kind of grief. There's lots to get out of this. I'm glad you're here for it. Welcome to The Grit Show, where our focus is growth on purpose. I'm your host, Shawna Rodrigues, and I'm honored to be part of this community as we journey together with our grit intact to learn more about how to thrive and how to get the most out of life. It means a lot that you are here today. As you listen, I encourage you to think of who may appreciate the tidbits of knowledge we are sharing and to take a moment to pass this along to them. Everyone appreciates a friend that thinks of them, and these conversations are meant to be shared and to spark even more connections.

Rachel Augusta [:

Everybody has different experiences, and it really does depend on your community. And I feel like I should just say really quick, I'm in the business of trying to save lives. But the truth is that there's only one promise in this world and that the promise is that none of us get to stay. We're all leaving. And you can't heal age, and sometimes you can't get ahead of a disease. And so I end up spending a lot of my day on the phone with people who are crying. And I will tell you that I am not an expert in grief. I did not go to school, but I am an expert in grief because I have experienced it. And everything I know is through my own experience, and everything I say was not learned in a book, but just something I have experienced. And when I lost Holly, I ended up being very isolated because I didn't have that community you had. The people who I thought would show up disappeared, and strangers appeared and filled those spaces, which was shocking and beautiful and sad. And I did have some close friends who did know how to come in, but I ended up isolating a lot because people would say really painful things thinking that they were helping. I think the thing around grief, you gave a couple of examples of where you felt like, really loved and held, and it was that your niece drove for hours to come and help you bury the body. That's beautiful. And that somebody brought you flowers, and that's really beautiful. And neither one of those things or neither one of those instances was anybody trying to stop you or trying to fix you and make you feel better, because as we know, you cannot fix someone's grief. You can't. It's not your job. And I think that when it comes to animals, it's just recognizing that although this might just seem like a cat to you, this may be was this person's best friend. And with your fiance and with a lot of people, our animals are the ones we go to when we're stressed and depressed and sad. And so when we lose them, we no longer have that space. It just goes away. And so it's recognizing that the person who is grieving an animal has lost a very best friend. And that's how we should all look at it, regardless of how we want to classify that friendship, they've lost a very close best friend. And the second part is that you can't fix it. And it's about just being in that space and being in those emotions. And there's one of your more recent shows that I listen to, is just about allowing yourself to feel the feelings you need to feel. And when you're grieving, allowing yourself to feel whatever it is you need to feel. And if you want to support somebody, allowing them to feel whatever it is they need to feel. It's really that simple. And I'm not educated on this. I didn't go to school to become a grief counselor, but I've sat on the phone with a lot of people, and generally, I've just validated. You've lost a best friend. This was really hard. You feel like you're falling apart, that's okay. You can fall apart. We'll be here to pick you up when you're ready. And people have come back to me and have said, that is the only thing that was said to me that I could hold on to. And I'm not saying that to brag. I'm saying this because I feel like I didn't even do that much. Like, I didn't drive miles to get to somebody. I didn't come with a bouquet of flowers and a warm meal. I was just saying to them, it's okay to have these feelings. It's okay to be sad. You've lost a best friend.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

Well, and I think that a lot of people don't get that recognition. That they don't have anyone that acknowledges how sacred that relationship is and how important that relationship is to even acknowledge what that loss is. And so I think that that's a big part of it, is even giving them space to be real about what they're experiencing.

Rachel Augusta [:

Exactly. And so one of the big mistakes that people make when someone is grieving is to try and fix it. So the things that we will say are things like, you can get another. Okay, it comes from a good place, but it's not. And this isn't, by the way, just said to people with animals. I've heard women who've had miscarriages where a very similar thing has been said to them, it's a good thing you're young. You can have another. And I have sat with these women where they've been crying so hard over those words being said to them, they couldn't get the words out. Because it's not about just pumping out babies. It's not about just like, I'm cycling through animals. It's the relationship that this person had to their cat, dog, horse, bunny, snake, whoever it is. And the same would go with a mother and her baby inside of her womb. She's not just wanting to have a bunch of babies. It's the relationship she had with that baby. So that's a really common thing that's said, you can get another. Or people will say things like, they lived a long life, and it's like, yeah, I know, dummy. I know. Of course, they lived a long life, so I want them here for 150 years. It's not fair, really, that humans live as long as they do and animals don't. And it's not helpful to say that to people, but you gave them a good life. We know, but I still miss them or even saying, like, they're in a better place now. If they were, let's say, in a lot of pain or had cancer, they were old or limping, again, we know, but it's not helpful. And it comes from a good place, but it doesn't land in the way that people think that it is. And again, I've heard all of these things said to humans as well. I was at my aunt's funeral and my own dad's funeral, actually. I heard people approach my mom and my aunt and say, they're in a better place. He's in a better place. And it's like, a better place is here. We know that they're old, we know that they're sick. We know that they have dementia. We know that they can't walk. But it doesn't really matter. This is the best place with us. And what I always tell people instead is just acknowledge their feelings. I'm really sorry. This is horrible. And if you don't know what to say, you can say that. I don't really know what to say, but know that I love you and I'm here for hugs and I will watch all the sad movies with you and cry, or I will come over with a bowl of pasta or some soup and you can offer things if you don't know what to say. And a lot of times, people will not bring up the name of the deceased because they think that it'll trigger the person into feeling sad. But the truth is, that person is already sad and they're already thinking of the animal who's already crossed over. So it's actually a really great way to connect with somebody who's grieving over their animal. If you don't know what to say, what you can say is, you know what my favorite story is of Bozo, your dog? Or like, do you know what my favorite thing you used to tell me about your cat? It's when they would tear up all your toilet paper or whatever it is, and you're inspiring them to feel safe sharing stories with you. And I have found myself in that position a lot. Sometimes you don't know what to say. Sometimes you feel like you've already said everything you can say, especially if they're a close friend. And there is no timeline on grief. There just isn't. Grief is a hole that sometimes we learn to walk around and sometimes we forget is there and we fall into it. So you might have a friend or a family member or colleague who's been grieving their animal, who's passed away for a year, and you might not know what to say anymore. And that's legit. That's true. And I'm sure the grief won't be as intense as it was in the beginning, but if they're still in that state, just share stories, just talk about it, pull out pictures. And that's one thing I've said to people like, let's look at some pictures of Jasper, and I'll share what I have on my phone. Or if you don't have any, like, show me pictures of Jasper, let's talk Jasper. They always appreciate it. Nobody is ever going to be like, you're rude. They just won't. They love it. I will ask people to send me a picture of their animal who's alive for the work that I do, and I will end up with 10,000 photos, because people love sharing photos. They're like, Sorry, I just wanted to give you every single angle of every single whisker. And I'm like, this is amazing. My clients love their animals and people laugh. I probably have 40,000 pictures of my cat on my computer, and maybe 100 of my mom, they have pictures. Tell them to share pictures. Like, let's have a photo night of just looking at all the pictures and laughing and crying together. And that's a really beautiful way to support somebody.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

Yes. And processing that and to allow it to process. I think that in my mind, based on when I have my experience of my friend who drove up to be with me when I lost my cat and the person who gave me flowers, it was like, this is like grieving a human. And my kitty was, like, a really good friend that I'd lost. It wasn't my sole companion like it would be for somebody else. And so I think that helped to open my eyes that if somebody loses their pet, that is like a soul companion, that you need to step up like they lost their partner, like, they lost their best friend, their dearest person. And to have somebody just even check in and acknowledge, I'm sure it's different that you came home today and you weren't greeted by anyone, because that's the person that you live with them, and they're there. And to have that awareness instead of thinking about them as pets, to think about that relationship and the relationship that they've lost, and to be supportive of that. And those words help because I think I even do the thing of, like, they were so lucky to have you. They've had such a good life. I do do that. So that's what I can work on.

Rachel Augusta [:

That is also beautiful. Like, you were so lucky. They were so lucky to have you, and you were lucky to have them, and this was such a great life. It's more of the, they lived a good life. Just be grateful.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

Oh, that's helpful. Thank you. That's helpful. That's helpful.

Rachel Augusta [:

It's clear that you guys loved each other so much. I mean, that's really what it sounds like with you were saying, like, oh, you clearly love them. They clearly loved you. They had such an amazing life with you and acknowledging that the difference is the other one is, like

Shawna Rodrigues [:

Put it in the past. Pack it up.

Rachel Augusta [:

Yeah, they're trying to make you feel better. They were old. They had a good life. It was their time to go. That's more like, it was their time to go. And we know that, but it still hurts. And what that does is when somebody says that, it takes the burden off of you and puts it back on the person grieving of, like, you need to buck up. And there's the statement, I know you love it. I love it too. But context, right? And it is, you got this. And so I feel like you got this is one of the most beautiful things you can say to somebody when they're doing something really hard, like gearing up to launch something, taking a test, preparing for a game, getting ready to run a race, like, you've got this. You can do this. But it is off-limits when somebody is grieving. Because you got this, I saw somebody post recently, well, this is about a year ago, that they had stage four cancer, and somebody wrote, you got this. And I was like, well, okay, I understand the sentiment behind this, but this person doesn't need to have it right now. They're falling apart. And so when you say that to somebody who's, let's say, grieving an animal, you've got this. What you're saying is there's no room to fall apart.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

Yeah, more of that buck-up stuff. We don't want the buck-up stuff.

Rachel Augusta [:

that era. My dad was born in:

Shawna Rodrigues [:

Don't do that. Meet people where they're at. Let them finish the cycle. And we did. We just had the podcast episode that came out was around the burnout cycle and finishing the stress cycle. And that is part of the grief cycle is part of that, too. Like, you need to actually feel it, experience it, and get to the other side. So we need to be better at matching people's, matching affect is what it's called. But just like, matching where somebody's at. And if they're in a dark place, you go to that dark place. You don't yank them out into the light with you or try to.

Rachel Augusta [:

No. And in a previous podcast, you were talking about, yeah, just feeling your feelings, like letting yourself move through them because they're not going to go away. You're just going to internalize them. And that's true here as well. And the other thing is, you interviewed Dr. Rishma, and that interview was great. And in that interview, she was talking about how she tells people what she needs. So we've been talking about, if you are the one supporting someone grieving, this is how you can show up for them. But what we haven't talked about is, if you are the person grieving, how can you show up for yourself?

Shawna Rodrigues [:

Yes, let's do that and talk about boundaries for people that don't get it, because we need to talk about that, too.

Rachel Augusta [:

Right. And it's so important. She said in there, you need to tell people referring to her husband, like, I don't need you to fix this. I just need to vent, and then you need to tell me I'm okay. And when I was listening to that, I was, like, so perfect and true to all things in life and in grief, you can use that same or setting boundaries or even, like, before your animal has died. Here's the thing about grief. People start grieving before their animal dies. They grieve when they get the horrible diagnosis. It's called anticipatory grief. We start grieving when we can see someone's aging and they're not as agile or moving around as much or we notice that they're sleeping a lot more. The grief process starts then. Anticipatory grief. We're anticipating that they're leaving, and that is when you can start to get clear on your boundaries. So the boundaries are, who is my community? You know, I have friends that can hold space, and I have friends that absolutely cannot hold space. And they have not listened to your podcast, Shawna, and they have not done the work. And I know who they are, and I love them. They're my fun Friday night, but they are not the person I call into the room when I just need to cry and not have anyone fix me. And so find out who that community is. If you don't have it, find one. Get it. And if you love animals, I have that community for you. But surround yourself with those people and then set boundaries in that group. And a boundary, if you are grieving a soul companion or not even a soul companion, but a really good friend, whoever you're grieving, somebody has died. An animal. Just saying, like, I need somebody to just sit with me and let me process my feelings and cry. Can that be you? I don't need anything fixed. Being able to do that for yourself or even I'm having a hard time sleeping. Can somebody come over? I know people who've done that. This is true for a lot of caregivers, and it falls into a lot into caregivers grief caregivers. This happens when our animals get old. All of a sudden, you are their care team. You're up with them all night. You're giving them medicine, sometimes for weeks, sometimes for days. You're sleeping with one eye open because you're super afraid that something might happen if you fall asleep. Caregivers grief. A lot of them, they haven't slept in months, and after their animal has died, they have a really hard time sleeping. And so even just saying, can you come over and hang out at my house while I sleep? It'll make me feel safe. That's a thing. And just being able to ask somebody for that and your friend will be like, oh, my God, good, I can help you. I didn't know how people love when you say to them, I'm having a hard time cooking food for myself. Would you be able to bring me something one night this week? They will feel grateful if they're a good friend, they will feel grateful to have a direction to be able to help you.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

Yes. No, I love that. I love that. And then for the people that just don't get it, whether it's colleagues or family, just to not share with them is what you recommend. Or to just tell them that you were going through something that's really hard and just not tell them what it is so you don't have to deal with their judgment or what are your thoughts on that?

Rachel Augusta [:

That's a great question. I would say each situation is different, but a lot of people are not going to understand your grief over a cat or a dog. And in those cases, it might be more painful for you to tell them that that's what's going on. So I would recommend saying the most true thing that doesn't divulge that information necessarily. So what you could say is something like, a family member of mine passed away and I'm going to need some time off. That's it. They are family member. If that doesn't feel right, you could say, a best friend of mine died. I'm not doing well. I'm going to need some time off. And even before the animal dies, that comes up a lot where people are like, I need to take time off work, but they're never going to let me if they find out that it's my dog and my dog is dying, which, how horrible is that? And that's where then I would be like, I have a family member who's crossing over and I can't be here right now. And I would leave it at that. When Holly died, I went and got a massage to get body work, to move the emotions through my body. And I started crying. Of course I started crying. I was on the table. My body was being touched. I was moving the emotions. I started crying. And I felt like I needed to explain why I was a different person than I am now. But I felt like I needed to explain it. And I was like, I'm really sorry I lost someone. And he was so loving. I could feel the loving energy. And he was like, I'm really sorry. And when he asked who, I said, my cat. I felt the energy change. I felt it just like, are you kidding me? I could feel that come off of him? Are you kidding me? And then I felt so much shame. I felt so weird and bad around it. It was horrible. So I switched. So I stopped telling people that because I was like, I can't experience that anymore. I'm already in too much pain. I can't have my relationship devalued and judged, and I can't have my grief dismissed because you don't understand the relationship. So then I just started telling people I lost my daughter. And I actually talked about this recently with somebody who was writing an article for HuffPost, because they were like, you told them that it was your daughter? And I was like, It was the only way that I could help people understand that I was not in a position to show up as my best self. I don't even like saying that. Show up as my best self. I think when you show up in total grief, you're still showing up as your best self. But I wanted people to know it's like, we used to all wear black and a black veil black for a year. And it was to let people know you're grieving. Because when you're grieving, you're numb. You might be in an okay place right now, but in 30 minutes from now, you might not be in an okay place. And that's also why they recommend not asking grieving people, how are you feeling today? Or how are you feeling? Because right now, in this moment, they might be okay, but they might not be okay in five minutes from now. And so instead, what you would say is, how are you feeling in this moment? I appreciate that people used to wear all black to let everybody know, like, I've lost someone, and I'm just in a different space, and I feel more vulnerable right now. I was explaining this to the person who wrote the Huff Post article about how I ended up having to tell people I lost my daughter because it was the only way they would give me grace. And interestingly enough, that made people so angry in the Huff Post, which, at its core, is why I told people it was my daughter. Because they were like, how dare this woman compare her cat to a human child? And it's like, I didn't do that. I didn't even say I did that. I just said the only way to receive grace was to say that another human had died. Because a lot of people were not willing to accept that my broken heart was over another species of animal.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

And you're trying to get the relationship that you lost and what you lost, right? Yes.

Rachel Augusta [:

Right. And so if you have to say that you lost a child, say that you've lost a child. Because you're not trying to lie or scam or cheat anybody. You're just trying to put a barrier. You're trying to put a small wall of safety around your heart. And that's all you're trying to do. It's not about deceiving anybody. It's about I need people to know that my heart is very vulnerable right now, and I'm crying on this massage table because I lost someone very important to me. And now, at this point in my life, I guess I could have just said that I lost somebody very important to me, but I didn't know that was available to me. I didn't know that I could say that.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

Yes. If you can say those words and then do that boundary of, I'm not comfortable talking about it any further, or I'm not in a place to talk about it any further, because it's now their business who it was, and you don't want to talk about it. And so to be able to just draw that boundary, to say, like, I lost family member. I lost somebody very important to me, I lost my best friend, and then to be able to just say, like, I'm not comfortable talking about it.

Rachel Augusta [:

Yeah. And I'm not in a space to talk about this, but I won't be showing up, or, like, if it's at work, I'm going to need some PTO time, or I'm going to need some work taken off of my plate, and that's if people just don't get it, I think whatever feels right. Nothing is wrong. I really don't think it is. I know that people were just horrified that I said I lost my daughter when it was a cat, but I'm like, I was just trying to create space for myself. And truthfully, this makes me sound old. At the time, people weren't even referring to their animals as fur babies. It's like, you have a cat, you have a dog, and things have really in the last I'd say especially in the last ten years, in the last five years with social media, we've all grown so much. We've learned so much about language. We've learned so much about relationships, so much about boundaries, so much about speaking out for what we need and speaking out against others in a way that whether we're talking about grief or we're talking about racism and the patriarchy. We've all been put into a crash course college course over these last five years of how to use our words that it's okay to have feelings and it's okay to have complex feelings. It's okay to have three feelings at once. Boomers. Didn't go to therapy. I am the first in my lineage. I am the first who went to therapy. And in these groundbreaking moments of being like, did you know you can have two feelings at once? I did not know that. And it's like, so much has changed in the last five years that maybe some offices might be really super cool about it. But I do know from my experience working with my clients that some of them are like, no, it's not cool. You can't talk about it. You're. Not going to get the support you need, and so you're going to have to give that to yourself. You're going to have to set those boundaries for yourself and speak your truth of whatever that truth is.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

Yes, find your way to be authentic and draw those boundaries. So when my mother was sick with her breast cancer, the agency I worked at, they'd given me time off to be with her and part of this policy that people could donate time to me and stuff. And at the time, I was upset about it because they shared with everyone that my mother was fighting breast cancer. And I didn't want to go to work and have to talk to everyone because I worked statewide in that position about the fact my mother had breast cancer. And every time I saw somebody else I worked with, they'd ask how my mother was doing. And I'm like, I'd really like to focus on my job because I'm not here very much, because I'm gone a lot helping her. Let's not talk about this right now. So it's very challenging. But all of a sudden, they yanked the time off that had been donated to me for me to be my mom, which was like, this isn't the policy. This isn't possible. And the HR person actually sat down with me and said, well, we thought that your mom was dying, and it doesn't seem like she is, and so you probably shouldn't be using this. And I was like, I never said she was dying. That was nothing I ever said. And this policy doesn't say that. So HR departments can be tricky. Even when you have humans that you're dealing with.

Rachel Augusta [:

I mean, exactly. That's horrifying when it comes to animals, people's actions can be horrifying. And then I hear something like that with you and your mom, and we're talking about humans and human resources, you're like, mind blown horrible. I don't even know how they could approach you with that. If I worked in that HR department, I'd be like, oh, well, it's happened.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

I still haven't thought about it, but I can picture the exact person and where we were sitting when they said those words to me. So it definitely stuck with me and I wasn't at that agency very much longer. I quit and found a different job because that definitely showed their colors. But yeah, they were not a good place.

Rachel Augusta [:

Exactly. So even when it comes to humans who are not doing well and who are sick, humans can have a hard time understanding that, whether it's a breakup, it's death, it's an illness, we can't always connect in the way that we need to. And so when it comes to animals, unless somebody has done the work, has a huge heart, has been in those spaces, like you expect, that most humans won't know how to navigate the situation. And so you just say what you need to say. That feels true and okay with you and set your boundaries and surround yourself with a community of people who do get it, because there are a lot of people who don't, and there are a lot of people who do get it. A lot of people.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

So let's talk more about that community and your connection to more people that would get it. Because I think people listening that are feeling that and feeling that connection to their pets and feeling like, oh, this might be me at some point in time if I lost them or found this episode because they are experiencing this and need to feel validated and connected to around this. Can you share more about that?

Rachel Augusta [:

For sure. So after everything happened with Holly, I wanted that community, so I started to create it. I have it a lot with my clients, but I've actually created a whole app called Empawer, and it's like Empower but with a paw, and it empowers people. But there's a whole course on this app that's free, all about grief. It talks you through the stages of grief. There's an interview in there with a death doula who's a death doula for animals. She has suggestions of what you can do, activities, invitations. There's a community specifically on this app for people who are grieving. And there are free meditations that help you connect to yourself, to your feelings, to your body as you grieve. And people will go into the community and post and share and talk, and it's all within the app. And I purposely kept all of that free. And almost everything on the app is free, the classes, a lot of the meditations, because it was all something I wanted or needed when Holly got sick. And so it's really my passion project to just give that to people and be like, here, you're stressed. There's a meditation for you on that. So I would direct everybody there. Everybody that's on the app is obviously a serious animal lover. They meditate with their animals. All of my clients are people who find me or come into my world. They're not the people who have their dog chained up outside. They are family members with seats at the table. The other thing I would really recommend would be finding a grief group in your town, if there is one, where you can go and sit, because the Humane Society in certain cities will offer them for free at their shelter. And then you can go and you can sit with other people who are grieving their animals. You can ugly cry. Nobody's going to try and fix you. They have a therapist who hosts the group and sits there and can help talk you through it. And it's really comforting. It's really comforting to be able to sit in a room with people sharing their stories of their loss of their animals.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

Oh, that's beautiful. That's wonderful. I didn't know that existed. So that's great to know as well. Those are perfect. So I love this. So that's the big thing is being able to have that app as a resource is beautiful. And then you have something that's not done yet, but you're going to have coming out through your website of Oracle cards you said around this, which I'm so excited about.

Rachel Augusta [:

Thank you. Yes, I am almost finished creating this. It's a grief guidance Oracle deck where you will be able to pull a card each day. And it will either be an invitation to reflect or to communicate, or to create. Build an altar to honor your animal companion who's passed on different things like that. It's over 50 cards that you get to pull from each day that will have different things you can do to help move you through your emotions, help move you through your grief. Because the truth is, people who grieve hard grieve clean. And what that means is not grieve. It's hard for you to grieve, but you're going into the spaces, you're going into your body, you're going into the feelings you will come out of it clean. And so this deck is almost complete. We're just getting some final touches and things to it. And if you're interested in it or getting one for a friend who's in need, I would just recommend going to my website. It's on my home page, it's just a sign up and I will alert you when it's being printed and ready to go. I won't contact you for any other reason.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

Perfect. We'll have that in the show notes that people can just click on that and get to your website and get connected for that because I'm sure that'll be valuable for folks looking to support people or that they would like that, support themselves. That's absolutely perfect. But I do want us to get to self maintenance for a moment. I think we've had a good conversation around different things, but could you just give an idea for self maintenance, for self care? What do you do for self maintenance and for self care?

Rachel Augusta [:

Yes. I consider what I do before I go to bed to set me up for my success for the next day. So a lot of my self care happens in the evening. And I love giving my nervous system a gentle massage before I go to bed. And also when I wake up, like laying in bed, just gently tickling my face, my arms, my chest, my stomach. It feels kind of like a feather. And it retrains your nervous system to know that you're safe and you're okay. And I do before I go to bed and when I wake up in the morning.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

Oh, I love that. I'm so glad we made time for that. That's wonderful. That's the one I haven't heard before. And so then, as you may know, since you've heard the show, we also give as a thank you for your time, for being here that we have two color grit coloring books. One is a vintage Mermaid and magnificent Ocean. And one is You've got this, which is funny and inspirational quotes. So which of those can I send to you as a thank you for being here today?

Rachel Augusta [:

The vintage mermaid. My email handle is the desert mermaid. So that just seems very appropriate.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

Yes, the desert mermaid. Done. Okay, good. Well, thank you, because I do I value your knowledge so much and you sharing that with all of us. So thank you. And then the last thing is that we want to do something that we call our grit wit or something people can take away with them. I know that you kind of have possibly something to help people with moving that grief through their body that we could talk about a little bit.

Rachel Augusta [:

Yeah. I think something that they could take with them is when you are in that space of grieving an animal right now that might be you, because so many of us are, is tuning into your body and seeing where it is. Is it in your stomach? Is it in your heart? Maybe it's in your hands. And then bringing yourself to that space and just love, just sending so much love. And if it's in your heart, just saying, I love you so much, and you're saying this to yourself, it takes a lot of grit to give yourself completely to someone you know isn't going to live as long as you are. And so returning that same energy to yourself and to your own body in the places that it hurts, that's what I would recommend.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

Give me goosebumps. That's so beautiful. Thank you so much. I think that people can really take that. Rachel I think it's something they can work with. So thank you. And we're going to have your website up for folks to get in the show notes, but is there a best place to find you online other than on your website?

Rachel Augusta [:

I'm on Instagram and Facebook, and I kind of teeter around on TikTok. I want to do more over there. But Instagram is a great place, so.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

Instagram is a great place to find you. So we'll have the TikTok, the Instagram, all that in the show notes. So just go to the show notes wherever you're listening to this, and you can just click on them and follow them and go to the website and get on that list for the Oracle cards. That is so exciting. You're doing that. And there's also we'll have the link for the app as well. Do we have a link for that? Is something they get from their website.

Rachel Augusta [:

I think you have the link. It's a smart link because it takes you whether you're on Apple or Android, it'll take you to either one depending on your phone

Shawna Rodrigues [:

You're savvy Rachel I like it. Thank you so much. This has been such a valuable conversation and for anyone who's listening say who has lost someone dear to them. A member, their family, their soul companion. We are sending you love and light and feeling that loss for you and I hope that you can find your community that gives you that support as well, because I know that's very important. So thank you for listening. And for those that haven't lost but know somebody that has, just remember that the relationship is what they're grieving and that's what you need to be there for. So thank you. Rachel.

Rachel Augusta [:

Thank you. Shawna, you're amazing.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

Thanks. Thank you for joining us today. I hope you enjoyed this episode. Be sure to on over to Instagram and follow us @the.grit.show. And if you aren't already following Authentic Connections Podcast Network @37by27, you should definitely be doing that as well. Don't forget, you are the only one of you that this world has got and that means something. I'll be here next Tuesday. I hope you are too.

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THE GRIT SHOW
Growth on Purpose
Are you a giver and a doer? Are you someone who has shown your grit and powered through, and now you're ready for the other side? Now you re looking for the conversations that remind you about self-care, that bring to mind grace and understanding, and give you space to reflect on purpose. Do you want more room to breathe and to live life with a little more ease? Each week, we discover tools and ways of thinking that support alignment, build stronger connections, help us find better questions, and live our best life. Most weeks we laugh, some weeks the topics touch close to home, but ultimately; this is where we grow together as seekers and thrivers. The Grit Show - growth on purpose. https://podcast.TheGritShow.com
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About your host

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Shawna Rodrigues

Shawna Rodrigues, Founder and Director of Impact at Authentic Connections Podcast Network, Host of The Grit Show (https://podcast.thegritshow.com) and Author Express (https://bit.ly/AuthorExpressPod) and coming in 2024- Authenticity Amplified. Shawna is a Podcast Mentor, Internationally Best-Selling Author (www.shawnarodrigues.com) and consultant.
Find her on Instagram @ShawnaPodcasts.