Good Grief: How To Grieve The Loss Of A Pet

Good Grief: How To Grieve The Loss Of A Pet

Author E.B. Bartels will discuss her new book, Good Grief: On Loving Pets, Here and Hereafter, in this Zoom webinar.

About The Book: Good Grief: On Loving Pets, Here and Hereafter is an unexpected, poignant, and personal account of loving and losing pets, exploring the singular bonds we have with our companion animals, and how to grieve them once they’ve passed. E.B. Bartels has had a lot of pets—dogs, birds, fish, tortoises. As varied a bunch as they are, they’ve taught her one universal truth: to own a pet is to love a pet, and to own a pet is also—with rare exception—to lose that pet in time. But while we have codified traditions to mark the passing of our fellow humans, most cultures don’t have the same for pets. Bartels takes us from Massachusetts to Japan, from ancient Egypt to the modern era, in search of the good pet death. We meet veterinarians, archaeologists, ministers, and more, offering an idiosyncratic, inspiring array of rituals—from the traditional (scattering ashes, commissioning a portrait), to the grand (funereal processions, mausoleums), to the unexpected (taxidermy, cloning). The central lesson: there is no best practice when it comes to mourning your pet, except to care for them in death as you did in life, and find the space to participate in their end as fully as you can. Punctuated by wry, bighearted accounts of Bartels’s own pets and their deaths, Good Grief is a cathartic companion through loving and losing our animal family.

About The Author:  The nonfiction work of E.B. Bartels has appeared in CatapultElectric LiteratureThe Believer LoggerThe RumpusThe MillionsThe ToastThe ButterEntropyFullStopPloughshares online, and the anthology The Places We’ve Been: Field Reports from Travelers Under 35, among others. She is a regular performer in Mortified, and her flash nonfiction piece “Vulnerable” was the winner of the 2018 Eldridge Tide & Pilot Book Story Contest. E.B. also writes the monthly column "Non-Fiction by Non-Men for Fiction Advocate," in which she interviews women and non-binary people who write nonfiction. She is an instructor at the creative writing center GrubStreet, the Wellesley Writes It editor for Wellesley Underground, and an on-again-off-again bookseller at Newtonville Books. In addition to writing, E.B. also works as a freelance editor, a manuscript consultant, a writing coach, a tutor, and a senior editorial writer in the communications and public affairs department at Wellesley College. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, Richie, and their many, many pets: Terrence (tortoise), Seymour (dog), Bert, Dan, and Murray (pigeons), and assorted fish and shrimp. Learn more about E.B. at

Register directly on ZoomSponsored by the Corning Foundation and the Friends of the Tewksbury Public Library.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022
7:00pm - 8:00pm
Time Zone:
Eastern Time - US & Canada (change)
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