A warm hello to you and welcome to my website.
I’m BJ Burman, editor of the Pet Loss Journey and author of the Heart and Soul Pet Loss Guide. I’m so glad you have found me because I know only too well the intense physical, emotional and spiritual pain of losing a pet that you have loved like a member of your own family, like a child, even.
I know only too well the grief, the tears, the overwhelming sadness, the emptiness that one can feel when you experience a loss like this. But I also know how to heal, how to find happiness again, and how to start again, not as the same person you were, no, you’ll be different because of this, but you can be better. This I know. But, please allow me to share a little more about myself.
All through my childhood and adult life, I have shared my life’s journey in the company of many pets (some still with me, some departed), every one of them dearly and deeply loved. I am also a passionate supporter of animal rights and animal conservation, so you can say that animals have always been a huge part of my life, and my heart.
As well as this, I’ve always been interested in healing, spirituality and culture, both academically and personally. When I became personally involved in Eastern philosophy and religion, I became specifically interested in death & dying (and what really happens to us). This seemed to fit so well with me, because even as I child I was asking these ‘big’ questions. I was also particularly sensitive to the suffering in the world, and that hasn’t changed. To this day, my motivation is to help to relieve the suffering of others (and myself), in some way.
Over the years, I have studied and researched the subject of death & dying, and the associated grief, particularly from a spiritual perspective, under the guidance of respected Buddhist, Hindu and Christian teachers from the USA, Britain and Australia. These great traditions and teachers, have so much to share on the reality of life and death, and it means a great deal to me to be able to share what I’ve learned, with you.
I have worked in the education sector for 20 years, as a teacher (particularly in a pastoral care role) of adolescents and adults, helping them to not only navigate their path in education, but also navigate their way through personal life obstacles for the happiest outcomes. In fact, this was the most meaningful to me—working with people who were going through a difficult time was the best part of the job, for me.
I didn’t go to university straight from school. I went into the workforce instead, from job to job (which is a life experience in itself!). I went back to study as a ‘mature age student’, another experience that gave me lots of valuable insights into overcoming obstacles and finding happiness.
I worked hard, I studied hard, and over the years I have earned a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities, a Graduate Diploma of Teaching, Graduate qualifications in Linguistics/TESOL, and a Masters studies in Comparative World Religions. I am also freelance writer, and I have been published in national and international magazine print publications in the field of health and well-being.
So, it seems only natural to me to combine all of this—my love of animals with my interest in death & dying and my love of writing, create a genuinely compassionate and supportive forum for humans who must say good-bye to the animals they love so much.
It is my deep desire to provide guidance and comfort for humans to help their beloved animals live and die in peace.
Blessings and Peace,
PS I’ve shared some of my own experiences with losing my beloved pets in my book, The Heart and Soul Pet Loss Guide, but I have also written about my story with one of my beautiful cats, Sheckley. Please feel free to share your story too.
PPS In case you’re wondering, I do have a human family too. My children (and I’m including my husband in that ;), are all animal lovers, like me! The kids just adore our cats, dog and birds. (The dog loves it, the birds don’t mind, the cats aren’t too fussed on kids cuddles though!).
We all live together in sub-tropical south east Queensland, Australia, which I suppose is something like Florida or Hawaii in the USA, but not much like Britain. I happen to love the cold, so I’m not sure how I ended up here! But I plan to retire one day in a place that has snow! (My cat Mimsy is a ragdoll—very long fur—so she should love that!).