When we lose a beloved pet, it can be an extremely difficult time. For many people, their pet isn’t just a pet but becomes a member of their family. A pet’s love is unconditional and the bond we create with them are powerful. The pain we feel when we lose a pet can feel the same, if not worse than if it were a person. A pet can bring us so much joy and love into our lives, it’s completely normal to feel devastated by grief when we lose them.
Allow Yourself to Grieve
When we experience a loss, we will go through a range of emotions including denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance. These are the stages of grief and they are a completely normal process of coping with loss. Yet, every individual will experience grief differently. It’s important to allow yourself to go through the stages of grief naturally, at your own pace. If you try to suppress these emotions, they may end up coming out later. Journaling can be a helpful outlet to express your emotions in a healthy way. Reflect upon the life you had with your pet and all the beautiful experiences you shared together.
Have a Funeral Ritual
Having a funeral or a ceremony for a pet that has passed can be a great way to express your emotions and provide a sense of closure for you and your family. You can make it as simple or elaborate as you’d like, saying a few words to honor their life and the love you had for them.
Maintain a Routine and Self Care
Experiencing a loss can really take a toll on our physical and mental health. After losing a beloved companion, it’s important to continue to look after yourself by eating healthy, exercising, and getting healthy sleep. Prioritizing your well-being can help you get through this difficult time easier. Keeping a normal routine will keep you busy and can elevate your mood and frame of mind.
Reach Out For Support
Some people may devalue your loss as they feel the loss of a pet isn’t the same as a loss of a human. Some people don’t understand the bond between a human and their beloved pet. Don’t let other people tell you how you should feel. Sometimes your closest friends and family may not be the best people to talk to if they can’t empathize with what you’re experiencing. Reach out for support from others who have lost pets as they will understand what you’re going through best. There are online support groups and forums for those individuals that have lost a pet.
If you are struggling with the loss of a pet, you are not alone. Reach out to a trusted professional or online therapist. They can offer support and guidance to help you cope with the loss of your loved one. Click here for advice and tools to manage your mental well-being.
Create a Memorial
Creating a memory of your beloved pet is a great way to honor them and keep their memory close to your heart. You could plant a tree, get an engraved necklace, a tattoo, or even make a keepsake out of one of their toys. Creating a memorial is a very individual experience, so it’s ultimately up to you how you’d like to best remember them.
Getting a New Pet
Some people may feel getting a new pet right away is a simple way to fill the void of the loss of their companion. Usually it’s healthier to allow yourself to grieve and mourn the loss of your beloved pet first. When you’re emotionally ready to move on is dependent on you and the bond you shared with your pet. If you’re missing the company of a pet, try volunteering at a local animal shelter or rescue before you make the decision to bring a new pet into your home. Volunteering with animals is proven to be a great way to cope with loss and many mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and stress.
Marie Miguel Biography
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with MyTherapist.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.