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Gentle Goodbye Holly Lyon-Hawk Maija Lampu Pet death.png

Maija Lampu

A Gentle Goodbye, Holly Lyon-Hawk

Losing a pet can be one of the hardest things we experience.
How we prepare can make all the difference.
A Gentle Goodbye with Cinnamon the Rabbit Holly Lyon-Hawk Maija Lamppu Pet Loss.png

A Gentle Goodbye
Cinnamon the Rabbit


Who is this book for?



"Hello, my name is Holly, author and creator of this first in a series of books exploring our complete relationship with our animal friends, from birth through to death and beyond. 


It is a sad fact that when we welcome an animal friend into our family, we know it is highly likely that we will outlive them, that we will have to see them through the end of their days. 

Our animal friends become part of our family, the love we feel for them is powerful, real and needs to be acknowledged in the same way as when we lose a human family member.


The grief before (anticipatory grief) and the grief we feel after our animal friend has died is just as valid and powerful as the grief we feel when we lose a friend or a family member.

Through my years of experience of supporting animals and people through the dying process and beyond I have seen how important and powerful it is for people to be fully prepared and also to engage with caring for that person or animal after death too using ceremony and love to help process the death and release the soul. 

This book is the first of six that explores our relationship to how we say goodbye to our animal friends, it is for all ages from 4-140 years and will help empower you and your family with ways to prepare and to love your animal friend even after death."

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"What an absolute gem of a book you have written here, what a gift to many a soul in the future. Beautiful, loving and reassuring.  It oozes kindness, tenderness and love which is delicately woven around important information and guidance when looking after a loved one who has died.  Just wonderful." Lizzie Neville

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Did you Know?


You can care for your animal friend
even after they have died.

We all know that it is probable that we will outlive our animal friends. And so it's important we prepare for this moment in plenty of advance so that we can care for both ourselves and our animal friend as best as we can at this very difficult time. 


Here are some very simple ideas: 


1. Make sure you have enough money set aside for

the end of your pets life.

Over 90% of pets are euthanased with the help of a vet, so it's important you have enough money set aside should you need this service. It can also be helpful to have money set aside for paying for a cremation or a burial in a natural burial ground if you don't want to lay your animal friend to rest in your garden. 

2. Have a Gentle Goodbye Box prepared

Even if your animal friend is euthanased at the vets and you are going to choose cremation you can still bring them home with you, you don't have to leave them with the vet. Bringing them home for a day or two can really help you to spend time honouring their earthly body that housed their precious soul as well as adjusting to the death. You can create your own Gentle Goodbye Box or alternatively you can purchase one that I have put together, that's full of goodies to help love and bless your darling friend. 

3. Create a plan

It can be very helpful to create a plan well in advance of your animal friend dying detailing how you might like things to happen (in an ideal world). For instance, if your animal friend is euthanased by the vet would you like this to happen at home, at the vets or a specialist place that gives you plenty of time? Would you like to spend a little time with your animal friend after they have died? Would you like them to be laid to rest in your garden or a natural burial ground or perhaps cremated? Who would you like to support you

through this difficult time? 

4. Funeral Ceremony

Would you like to honour their lives just as you would for a human member of the family? Funerals can provide a very important role in our grief journey as well as the souls journey of the animal as they transition to heaven. You can have this anywhere, in your garden,

in your home, at the beach or a field.

I have many ideas of what you can do, click here to find out more.

"We all need support sometimes"

Human Grief

Grief can affect us in many ways and it's not just humans that experience grief, our other animal friends can too.  Here are some examples of how it can affect humans, do remember these are all normal reactions to losing someone dear to us.

Humans grief can show as:

  1. Shock and numbness – this is usually the first reaction to loss, and people often talk about "being in a daze".

  2. Exhaustion, an inability to do much. 

  3. Unable to assimilate information. You may find you can take in things that people are saying to you, inability to read simple instructions.

  4. Overwhelming sadness, uncontrollable crying, 

  5. Anger.

  6. Guilt, this can be especially hard when we have had to make the decision as to when our animal friend was euthanased, even if we know that it was the right thing to do, the kindest thing to do.


It's important that you are as compassionate to yourself as you can be at this time. Self soothing and nurturing is the order of the day. Lots of wholesome foods, drinks and spending time with those people you know you feel safe with and who will be kind and supportive of your grief. 

Star of Bethlehem and Sweet Chestnut are wonderful Flower Remedies for supporting your system through grief. 

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About grief

Human Grief

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Animal Grief

It's not just you and the other human members of your family who will be grieving, if you have any other animal friends then they may well experience grief too.  Here are some examples of how it can affect our animal family:

Animal grief can show as:

  1. Vocalisation - this can be whining, howling, yowling.

  2. Pacing - this is an inability to settle, they may appear to be searching for their friend, this is one very important reasons for bringing your animal friend home so they can say goodbye. Do talk to the animal too explaining what has happened.  

  3. Being withdrawn - it's important you respect their space and don't try to 'cheer' them up, they will come round in their own time.

  4. Changes in their appetite.

  5. Changes in their grooming behaviour. 

  6. Anxiety - especially separation anxiety, their pack (family) has diminished and the whole order of things have changed. 


It's important to remember they are animals and not humans. They adjust and cope in their own ways and this will happen more quickly if you don't crowd them and comfort them too much. Routine can be one of the most stabilising strategies you can instigate. Try not to turn too much to your remaining animal friends as a source of comfort in your grief, this is a lot for them to hold, so make sure you have people around you who you can turn to as well as self-soothing techniques. If you are at all concerned do talk to your vet, they may be able to offer a holistic natural remedy to support them through the most difficult stages. 

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A Gentle Goodbye with Cinnamon the Rabbit LullabyHelen Manning
00:00 / 02:25
Sing your friend to heaven

Lullaby into night,
With roses bedight.
Amongst the stars, shining bright, 
May you step out in the light. 

Time to go and rest,
May your adventures be blessed.
You are free now, free to rest,
May thy adventures be blessed.

Lullaby into night,
You're your mother's delight.
Shining angels beside you,
You step into you true.

Soft and warm in the light,
Having fun with friends beside.
Step forth into light,
Knowing I'll be alright.

New adventures lie ahead,
Your life complete, your belly fed.
You hop on with joyous heart,
Knowing how precious your part.

Guardian angels are near,
So hop on with no fear.
Guardian angels are near,
So rest on with no fear,

Guiding stars shining bright
My darling born into light.
On clouds as white as cream,
With their head full of dreams.

In heaven the sky is bright,
You will play in the light.
When noontide warms the world,
You will frolic in the sun.

Gift your animal friends soul the blessing of your voice, it can soothe their journey to heaven as well as helping with your healing. This you can do as you prepare them for their funeral, as you wash, anoint and write to them.

Don't worry if you are crying through tears, these are tears of love. And no you don't have to have an amazing voice. The love you have for your

friend is the real magic!

Singing to Heaven

Meet Holly & Maija

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Holly Lyon-Hawk

Author & Creator

Holly was blessed to grow up on farms where she was happiest in the countryside spending time
with animals and nature. She trained as a veterinary nurse before becoming an animal sculptor. 

Holly has spent the latter part of her life as a multi-award winning holistic, freelance funeral director, end of life practitioner/soul midwife supporting humans and animals as they transition from this world onto the next.


She is a specialist in ceremonial care of the body and is passionate about raising the awareness of the gift this gives families in their grief journey. Holly also co-owns a beautiful and sacred natural burial/meadow/woodland burial ground in Kent, UK where both people and their beloved animal friends can be laid to rest amongst the peace and
beauty of mother nature. 

You can contact Holly via this site or through her website –

Illustrator Maija Lamppu A Gentle Goodbye with Cinnamon the Rabbit Book.jpg

Maija Lamppu


Maija is a biologist and a self-taught artist from Finland. She has two little daughters and is currently on maternity leave from writing a doctoral thesis about Ixodes ticks at the University of Turku.

Nature and painting have always been her greatest passions and her dream as a child was to illustrate a children's book one day. So far, she has illustrated mostly scientific publications and one children's book. 

Her style is something between realistic and whimsical and her favourite subject is animals.

You can see her work by visiting - and

Meet Holly & Maija
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This is a short video of the funeral of Holly's beloved Poppy, a miniature wire haired Dachshund who was and will always be her soul dog.

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