Meghan Markle is reflecting on the grief and growth we've all experienced in the past year living through the pandemic.
In a heartfelt note written in animal welfare organization Mayhew's annual review — one of the patronages Meghan kept after leaving her senior working role of the Royal Family— the Duchess of Sussex discussed the ways in which animals provided comfort during a year like none other.
"Over the last year, each of us have felt the profound effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic," Meghan's note began. "Be it the loss of a loved one, the health challenges far too many faced, or the disproportionate life changes everyone has experienced, it has been an overwhelming process of grief, growth and also of gratitude. I have heard from so many of you about the impact of having a pet with you at home during the isolation of lockdown; you have mentioned the therapeutic effect of having your animal by your side and the solace and comfort you found in their company. This effect is something Mayhew strives to deliver day in and day out to people throughout the UK and beyond."
She went on to "thank every animal lover across London, the U.K. and the world who has supported Mayhew during the past year. Your help has meant that, despite the hardship, Mayhew has been able to continue providing vital support to cats and dogs, and the communities around them.”
“I have been proud to witness Mayhew adapting to the moment – through virtual rehoming, TheraPaws visits over Zoom and delivering care packages to animals and pet owners in need," the duchess continued. "The organization has rescued and rehabilitated cats and dogs in critical situations and, of course, delivered vital animal health services overseas in countries also gripped by the pandemic.”
In her final paragraph, Meghan highlighted some of the positive aspects of the past year, writing, “When I reflect on 2020, I always come back to the importance of community and connection. We may have been forced apart, but we found new ways to be close and to support each other through this shared crisis. For many of us, this was made all the easier with our pets by our side.”
She concluded, “Mayhew – and thousands of small, community organizations like them – will continue to listen, adapt their services, and provide the resources that people and pets need to stay together and persevere through hardships. As we collectively build to the future, my sincere hope is that we do so with ongoing support and appreciation for organizations like Mayhew, who continue their vital work in days of crisis and in days of calm. Their commitment to the cause of animal welfare is steadfast and their effect on our community wellbeing is self-evident.”