The death of an adored pet is excruciating. With their shorter lifespans, it’s also, unfortunately, a certainty.
Why Pet Loss Hurts
One analysis of why losing a pet is such a profound loss is because animals’ love is so unconditional and accepting, but it’s also because so many facets of people’s lives are impacted. Without exception single facet of life is part of the loss. Your dog or cat will sit in the bathroom with you while you take a shower. They’re there day and night. When we are caretakers for animal life, it multiplies the anxiety just before passing away. It’s as if your whole life has been shredded. Our pets often have seen us through significant life changes from divorce to starting a new school or job or illness, so being deprived of that companionship can be devastating.
Ways to Cope with Grief
Although pet lovers can relate to the heartache, grieving the loss of a pet, as opposed to a human, is still powerless grief in today’s world. Advice like “It’s just a dog‚” or “Are you going to get another cat?” can feel hurtful and isolating. They don’t need o to hear about getting another pet. And they should not until their grieving is over.
Some people draw relief in finding ways to memorialize their loss, like scattering their pet’s remains on a favorite hiking path or burying them in a unique location. Others host a function to honor their loved ones.
Additional options include the ensuing:
- Go through pictures and create an album or enlarge and frame favorite pet pictures.
- Plant a memorial tree
- Give to a pet cause in their stead.
- Find valuable resources‚ including pet loss support organizations and the nonprofit Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement. Online chatrooms. Ask a veterinarian, and they may be able to refer you to local clubs.
The Added Weight of Euthanasia
They are often upset because they feel uncertain about when to let go. “It’s a hefty burden, but it can be such a gift to the animal.
Alternately, sometimes people who cared for an ailing pet for years feel guilty for feeling some relief at their passing or having moments in which they briefly feel better.
Grief is so fluid. Take advantage of those times when you’re feeling a little better, and then make sure that you leave yourself time to grieve, sometimes every day, as long as you need to. Never run away from your feelings.
Perhaps above all, remember there is no single way to grieve the loss of a pet and that you’re not alone