Is There Life After Pet Loss?
Pet loss is a monumental event in the life of a dedicated owner. Despite the link to greater life satisfaction and physical and emotional health, grieving over the death of a beloved pet isn’t always sufficiently recognized in our culture. This can result in a significant lack of support to get through the grieving process. Luckily, there are other pet owners and animal lovers like the team at Pet Medical Center and Spa who fully understand – and appreciate – the high-level attachment between pets and their humans.
The pain of pet loss is very real. In fact, it’s probably one of the most difficult transitions in life. Pet owners know they’ll likely outlive their pets, but there’s nothing we can do to prepare for the devastation that accompanies saying goodbye to our best friend.
Due to the overwhelming cultural assumption that mourning a pet is less significant than another family member or friend, many pet owners don’t always know where to turn to get the necessary support.
Honor Your Pet
It’s immensely important to take the time you need to grieve for your pet and honor his or her life. Without proper attention to this process, it’s very difficult to heal and move on in a healthy way.
These Emotions Rule
When it come to grief, it can take many different forms. It’s impossible to grieve “the wrong way” or to feel that the intensity of your pain and sadness is inappropriate. Guilt, denial, anger, and depression are all on the grief spectrum, and you might even feel all emotions at the same time. In order to truly cope with pet loss, it’s crucial to be honest about your feelings and not to judge your own emotions.
Take Care of Yourself
While you may not want to get out of bed, prepare meals, or leave the house, your well being depends on maintaining your own personal health.
The daily grind can often be “too much” to deal with, but try to maintain your commitments and relationships, as they may even sustain you through this challenging time.
Also, isolating yourself can be very dangerous to your mental health. Reach out to those who could understand what you’re going through. Trusted friends and family members can comfort and support you. Likewise, your church, school, or medical provider may be able to connect you with other grieving pet owners.
Pet Loss Memorials
- Plan your pet’s funeral and invite those who knew and loved your pet.
- Invite each attendant to recall a memory or favorite thing about your pet.
- Frame your pet’s best photograph and display it in a prime spot at home.
- Create a special album or scrapbook of your pet’s favorite things or experiences.
- Plant a tree or shrub and place a memorial stone beneath it.
There’s no easy solution to dealing with pet loss. However, with time, honesty, and a little help from those you love, your pet’s memory will stay alive within your heart forever.
As always, if you need any assistance or have any questions related to pet loss, we’re always here for you.