Lost Companions: Reflections on the Death of Pets (Paperback)
A heartfelt exploration of human grief after the loss of a pet by the New York Times bestselling author of Dogs Never Lie About Love.
Over 84 million Americans—almost 3/4 of the US population—own a pet, and our society is still learning how to recognize and dignify that relationship with proper mourning rituals. We have only recently allowed the conversation of how to grieve for our non-human family members to come front and center.
Lost Companions fills a specific, important demand, a massive need in the market for an accessible, meaningful book on pet loss. Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson takes a very personal, heartfelt approach to this difficult subject, allowing readers to explore their own responses and reactions, suggesting ways through and out of grief, as well as meaningful ways to memorialize our best friends.
Lost Companions is full of moving, thought-provoking and poignant stories about dogs, cats, horses, birds, wombats and other animals that beautifully illustrate the strong bond humans form with them.
About the Author
Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, an ex-psychoanalyst and former director of the Freud Archives, is the author of numerous bestselling books on animal emotions, including Dogs Never Lie About Love and When Elephants Weep. He lives in New Zealand with his family.
"Losing a pet or other animal friend can be incredibly traumatic. This touching book is all about the bonds between humans and other species, and why we grieve their loss as much as we do." —Frans de Waal, New York Times bestselling author of Mama’s Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us About Ourselves
"A thoughtful examination of a heartbreaking thing that happens to many of us, the death of a beloved pet, Lost Companions is a beautiful book about a largely ignored subject, and will help many people."—Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of The Hidden Lives of Dogs
"When animals enter our lives and hearts, a difficult inevitability arises. None of us live forever, and because we often outlive our beloved pets, we will miss them terribly someday. It’s not a subject we like to talk about. Fortunately, Lost Companions does the talking for us, helping to prepare us, helping us to realize that grief is the flip side of all the delights they have given us and that we will always have." —Carl Safina, New York Times bestselling author of Beyond Words and Becoming Wild
"Highly recommended for all animal lovers who inevitably must deal with the death of their pets." —Library Journal (starred review)
"[A] moving and intimate study...Anyone who’s found it difficult to deal with the fact that pets’ 'lives are so much shorter' than humans’ will appreciate this compassionate work." —Publishers Weekly
"A touching, sensitive journey that will, like Masson’s previous books, find a wide audience." —Kirkus Reviews
“The work of an accomplished, learned, and great-hearted man, Lost Companions offers a balm to all who face the sorrow of parting with a beloved animal. Like other classics by Jeffrey Masson, it is filled with helpful wisdom, original insight, and the beautiful, charming style of a masterful writer.” —Matthew Scully, author of Dominion and former presidential speechwriter
"Many of us are devoted to the pets as well as the wild creatures that share the world with us. Their deaths can be wrenching, yet the culture we live in often trivializes our grief. With empathy and tenderness, Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson writes of the innate dignity of other animals and the strength and beauty of our mutual bond — illuminating our right to love them, and mourn their leaving, as deeply as we want." —Lydia Millet, author of A Children's Bible
"This is not only an important book, it's a beautiful book --and absolutely essential reading for anyone who's ever loved and lost an animal companion. No other writer can shine a light into the very heart of the human-animal bond like Jeffrey Masson." —Gwen Cooper, New York Times bestselling author of Homer's Odyssey