How to Cope with the Loss of a Pet
The food bowl is empty. No fluffy fur ball comes rushing to you to lick your face with tremendous joy. The dog isn’t called the man’s best friend for nothing. Your dog is your best friend, partner, walk buddy, protector, your reason to have tons of joy life. The one who was always there for you is now gone. You feel like someone punched a hole in your chest.
Losing a pet can cause traumatic pain. The pain is equivalent to losing a human friend. This is the type of pain only a pet lover can genuinely understand. Your heartache can become so severe that it could even disrupt your life routine. If you do not recover from the loss, you might fall into depression.
Life is harsh without a pet. Even though we all know that death conquers all, but the memories will torture you and forbid you to accept the fact that your pet is no longer there for you. Having a new pet will never fill the void. But you must recover from the pain and continue with the average pace of life. Yes, it will be difficult.
Here are eight ways that I believe will help you to cope with the loss of your pet.
Hold a Funeral
Holding a funeral ceremony is not uncommon. And no, it does make you weird willing to hold a ceremony. A lot of people find comfort in it. A small gathering of friends and family can help. It is a sacred place to talk about your beloved friend openly. It really is a healthy way to grief.
Grieving is something that can not be forced. Once you are done with the funeral. Grieving becomes easier. Do not tell yourself how to grief, do not force yourself to act in a specific manner.
Never let others dictate your actions on how to grief. It is something that differs from each person to person. No one except you can truly understand what you are going through. Shed your tears, cherish the memories. Bare the pain, crawl through it and let it all out. You will feel much lighter once you do that. A heavy burden will be lifted off of you.
It does not matter whether you bury, cremate. You need to honour their memory. Thus, memorializing is an excellent way.
- You can buy urn to put their ashes.
- Bury in your backyard
- Plant a tree.
- Create a photo album
There many more creative ways to memorialize your pet. Just follow your heart. But whatever you do, do not stuff your friend. Recalling the enjoyment and love you imparted to your pet can push you to move on.
Children are often closer to pets than the owner. Your children are grief-stricken too. Include then in all the activities. You should not lie and try to hide your pet’s absence. It is also a healthy way to keep them in the loop. Children must overcome fear and learn to process death. And if the loss of your pet is the first death they stumble upon; it can turn out to be a good thing. Because it helps them grow.
Read More: Tips for Finding a Lost Pet
Do Not Blame
Your buddy can die of many causes. An accident, disease or even for the need for euthanizing. Whatever the cause may be. Do not blame anyone, especially yourself.
Negative thoughts might occur, such as “I could have saved him”, “I should have taken better care of him”, “I should have protected him.”
Do not take a trip down the guilt lane. It is not healthy, and it will completely consume you. Push you back to zero and make you feel worse.
Get Proper Support
People who are not pet owners will not be able to sympathize with you. There is a higher probability of people making fun of you for being upset. Behind your back or even in front of you.
So, it is quite essential to get proper support. Get someone to lean on. Joining a pet loss support group, seeing a psychologist, seeking help from your friends and family will get you through even after some time has passed.
Bring Some Change in Your Routine
The time you spent with your dog has been engaged in some other way. Doing something good in memory of your pet to honour him will make you feel a lot better. Here are a few of my Suggestions-
- Volunteering at the animal shelter.
- Contribute to donations.
- Charity volunteering.
- Consider joining a rescue group.
- Help adopt dogs.
Getting a New Pet
Even though your house is calm and empty, it’s best to take it slow. You need time to work through sadness and misfortune before even thinking about building another relationship with another pet.
If you think about replacing your pet too soon, you will have to take a trip down the memory lane then guilt will strike you again. Think about getting a new pet only after you are absolutely certain that you have let him go for good.
One thing to keep in mind is that you must avoid getting the same breed or similar-looking dogs. As every pet has their characteristics getting a similar pet would limit your behaviour towards them as well. It will create your expectations of their behaviour.
Every life is precious. And death conquers everyone. When it strikes the loved one. It hurts the most. But losing your self in the pain of death will result in depression. Life never stops for anyone; it always moves on. From the absence of your friend to learning to let him go is a long process. And it takes time. Have patience and believe in yourself that you can recover is the key to cope with the loss of a pet.
Author Info: Boyd Blackwood blogs at Furever.Co, where his focus is writing about pets, often the sad but unavoidable fact of dealing with pet loss. His own experiences led him to discover all I could about the topic, and to offer others advice and sympathy in their own grief journeys.