How to cope with the loss of your pet? It is never easy, your pets are always happy to see you and welcome you home after a long tiring day of work. They give you everything and ask for nothing more than your love and attention. And that is why it makes it more difficult for us to say goodbye to them. No words can describe the pain of losing a pet. They’re not just a cat or dog to you, they are family that you can count on to cheer you up every day.
“Pets provide us with so much love that the loss is almost more than what we’d experience losing a human loved one.”
says Kristine Kevorkian, Ph.D., a Los Angeles end-of-life and grief counselor.
As pet owners, we never want to imagine that one day we have to say farewell to our pets. It’s better to be prepared on how to cope with those overwhelming emotions of losing your pet. We have a list here at Smartpaw on how to cope with the loss of your pet.
Coping and Stages of Grief
During your cope with the loss of your pet, there will be stages of grief that come in denial, anger, guilt, depression, acceptance, and resolution. Not everyone will experience every stage of grief, it might not be in the same order too.
1. Don’t let anyone tell you how to feel
It’s okay to cry or not to cry, the situation varies for different people. Some people find it hard to cry about their pet’s death and it’s okay to feel that way, it doesn’t mean that you don’t love your pet. You might feel angry and frustrated at “why” and “how” your pet died, and this is part of the stage of grieving.
2. Cope by reaching out to people
Don’t try to ignore the sadness aching in your heart. Talk to your friends or family about how you feel, reach out to support groups or online message boards.
Some people might say “It’s just a cat, you’ll get over it”, “Just get another dog”, and that doesn’t mean that they are thoughtless, it’s just that they don’t understand the bond you have with your pet, seek out to supportive people instead. Communication with others may help you get through your rough moments.
3. Hold a funeral for your pet
Making a ritual for the loss of your pet can help you grief. During the funeral, you can open up and express your feelings, chat together with your family about the memories each of you had with your pet.
4. Create a memento
Keep the memories alive, be creative and make something to remember your pet by. You can plant a tree in memory of your pet, create scrapbooks of your pets, make a paw print mold of your pet and more. if your cremate your pet, keep the ashes at somewhere special.
5. Coping by taking care of yourself
As you are grieving, you might find it hard to keep up with your daily routine, but making sure you eat, sleep, rest and exercise regularly can make you feel better. Know that there’s nothing more you could have done to keep your pet alive. You did everything you could, and your pet knows that too. They would not want to see you get sick and suffer because of them.
6. If you have other pets, take care of them too
Pets can also experience loss when a pet dies. Keep your daily routine going on, spend more time with them so that they won’t feel lonely. Take them out for a quick stroll, make time to teach them new tricks, they would slowly get over the loss your pet just like you too.
7. Seek professional help
If your grief is refraining you from functioning in your daily life, seek help from a counselor or psychologist that can evaluate you and guide you on your grieving process.
Everyone copes grieves differently
There’s no timeline towards grieving, your emotions may vary depending on your age, personality, and circumstances of your pet’s death. People who live alone with their pets and have their pets as seeing-eye dogs might find it harder to cope with the loss of their pets. A spark of memories might even trigger you with waves of emotions even after years of your pet’s death but you’ll find it easier to accept the death of your pet after your grieving process.
Source: Disclose.tv Helpguide.org Wikihow.com