How to Cope With the Grief of Pet Loss

Grieving the loss of a loved one can be very difficult because your pet was a constant presence in your life and your home. Grieving is hard because you had a routine with your pet: feedings, walks, sitting in the lap time, favourite treats, funny faces and tricks. Pet loss is especially painful because your loss / bond is unique: your pet loved you unconditionally, unreservedly and was always waiting at home, excited and happy to see you.

This loss can hurt worse than losing a friend.

This wasn’t just a dog or just a cat. Grieving a pet death is painful because they were part of your family.

How to Cope With Pet Loss:

– Acknowledge that this is a huge, sad event. Don’t downplay it, or shrug it off. Grieving is a process that can take months.

– Accept that you may never totally get over your pet loss. You’ll always remember them. Having a funeral helps the grieving process. Light candles and recite a Poem or Loving Eulogy.

– Give yourself permission to grieve – it’s not “just a pet.” Coping involves the whole grieving process.

– Experience and express feelings of sadness, anger, or guilt. Grieving involves tears, anger, and sometimes even fear.

– Talk to others who can empathize – surround yourself with people who understand pet loss. Talk to your friends and family about why you feel this way ( even if they already know). Healthy grieving involves open communication.

– Be patient. Give yourself time to grieve. The grief process takes as long as necessary.

– Join support group, especially if you feel depressed or extremely angry. Grieving a pet may be easier with others who understand any sort of loss.

Remember you are not alone. All pet owners go through this – it is part of the joy and sadness that our beloved furry friends bring us. Understand that you gave your best. Enrich your soul with thoughts of the love you had for them. You kept them warm, well fed and with loving company.

When words are inadequate have a ceremony. A pet funeral is possibly the most important aspect of the grieving process. It gives you the time to say farewell, and provides a tribute for a much loved friend. Always remember you gave your pet a beautiful life.

Your love deserves a fitting tribute. You’ll find if you say goodbye that your pet’s physical presence will soon turn into a warm  that will remain on you until you meet again.

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