Mourning The Loss Of Your Pet

  • 25/09/2020
mourning-loos-of-pet.pngMany people consider their pets to be a part of their family. And, when we lose a family member, it’s normal to grieve. So, while some people don’t really understand how important animals are to certain individuals, you should not be made to feel bad about grieving over your beloved pet. This strong bond that you’ve created should be honoured but such a devastating loss can have a huge effect on your mental health. Here are some tips on how you can deal with mourning the loss of a pet.

Understand the grief process

You should know that everyone grieves in their own way. Some people act out and are angry before the sadness sets in while others might deny the fact that something bad has happened. Of course, some people accept the fact straight away and express their feelings. However, there are usually five stages of grief that you and your family members might go through. These include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. How long each of them might last depends on the person and some people have a harder time coping.

Take your time

There is no need to rush your healing process. Your pet might have been in your family for over a decade and it’s only normal that you can’t get over this loss overnight. There is no set timetable so don’t worry if it seems that someone in your family has moved on faster than you. You might start to feel better but still get triggered when you remember their birthday or hear that someone else has lost a pet. Don’t hide your sadness but find a way to express it.

Give journalling a go

For example, you can express what you are feeling by journalling. Writing down your feelings and emotions might help you process everything. As no one will read these but you, you can be open about the stuff you are going through and try to work out how you might move on. Perhaps the pet was aging or was sick and you had to put it down. It’s normal to feel guilty because of that but you have to remember that you did what was best for your pet. Write about the moments you shared together so that you can always remember these anecdotes.

Talk to a professional

If journalling doesn’t work and you start feeling worse, you should look for outside help. For instance, you can find a local pet loss support group where everyone shares their experience and tips for feeling better. On the other hand, you can talk to a therapist if you notice your grief turning into serious depression. Loss of sleep and appetite are normal when grieving but if you notice substantial weight loss or suicidal thoughts, it’s time to contact a medical professional who can offer help. Plus, simply talking to a friend can sometimes mean a lot.

Hold a service

One way to honour the bond you and your family had with your pet is to hold some sort of ceremony to celebrate their life. For instance, you can make it a funeral but it can be a simple service as well. You can easily order sympathy flowers online and create a casket for your beloved pet. You can even ask the kids to decorate it. Everyone can have a little speech or write down messages and their farewells.

Create a memorial

If you choose to bury the pet in your yard, you should create a little memorial that will mark the grave where you can put flowers every year or simply go and sit nearby. On the other hand, if you want to keep the cremated remains, you can buy a nice urn and find a special spot where to place it. Put a photo of your pet next to it and even create a photo album of all the snaps you took over the years.

Don’t forget about your other pets

Grieving can take its toll on you easily but it’s very important to take care of your other pets if you have any. They might also be grieving. If you notice a loss of appetite, sluggishness, or no interest in their regular activities, it’s essential to shower them with extra love. Maintain their normal routine in terms of feeding and walks so that they feel better. Spending time with the rest of your pets might help you and them move on more easily.

Know when to get a new pet

You might be tempted to avoid grief and sorrow by getting a new pet. However, you should not replace the pet you lost as soon as possible as that will not give you and your family enough time to process what has happened. Seeing as how getting a new pet is usually a big decision, it is not something that should be rushed and done on impulse. Over time, you will start to feel better and you’ll realize that it’s finally time to bring a new friend home.

Conclusion

Losing a pet is never easy. They provide you with love and companionship and getting over that loss is not a quick process. Honour your friend but remember to take your time and take care of yourself.

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