Pet loss can mean various things for different people. Some feel like their world will never be the same again, while others are able to go on with life without that much difficulty at all. The reactions that you can expect are anger, sadness, depression and anxiety.
Understandably, there is a vast range of emotions that pet owners go through when they lose a pet, which means there is no right or wrong way to feel about your pet loss.
To help you deal with the grief, here are some ways to help yourself come to terms with your loss.
Be open and talk to people.
This is often the biggest problem for many people in dealing with the loss of a pet. It is crucial that you find someone who will listen to you without being judgmental or critical about your feelings. Maybe you have a friend or relative whom you feel comfortable opening up to — or perhaps seek the help of a professional such as your doctor or psychologist.
If not, there are online communities that can provide an opportunity for you to share your feelings with other pet owners who are going through similar experiences.
Keep your pet’s spirit alive.
Although it might not always be possible for you to visit your pet’s gravesite, there are other ways that will allow you to keep their memories alive. You could write your pet a letter which tells them all about what has happened since they had passed, or call a family member to talk about them over dinner.
You could also take a few of their favorite objects, such as some of their toys or special blankets, and have them nearby when you are home. These activities will help you feel that your pet is still very much with you even though they are not physically present anymore.
Let yourself cry.
Crying is how your body and emotions deal with the sadness, anger, or other negative feelings you are going through. Letting yourself cry might not be easy, but it is important that you do. If you feel like crying, release all the feelings that build up inside you.
Sometimes pet owners say that they didn’t want to cry when their pet died because they thought it would mean giving up hope. However, this isn’t how it works. Crying isn’t only for when people die, it can be cathartic as well and a good way for us to help understand our feelings.
Give your pet a tribute or memorial.
Remembering your pet through a memorial of some sort is another way you can pay your respects to them. You might have heard pet owners talk about how they had bought a memorial stone or pet urn to put on their pet’s gravesite, which is an excellent way of valuing their memory.
After pet cremation, you could also hold a funeral to allow yourself, your friends and family to say goodbye properly. It is better to do something meaningful rather than waiting for grief to pass.
Take care of yourself.
Your pet doesn’t want you to suffer and get sick. When mourning, do not forget to eat and get enough sleep. Remember, pet loss is an emotional experience that can be demanding on your mind and body, so you need to look after yourself if you want to continue living life as before.
Find new activities to do.
If you have lost your pet recently or are still dealing with pet grief, one way to move on is by doing something new in your life. It could be a hobby you want to explore more of, such as painting or even learning a foreign language. It could also be taking up regular exercise, joining a club or volunteering in animal shelters.
Like our family, pets are a significant part of our lives and losing them is never easy, no matter how long or short the time we shared with them. When dealing with the loss, pet owners should take each day at a time, be kind and patient with themselves, talk to others about how they feel, and cherish all the fun times they shared with their pets.