For some people, losing a pet can be likened to losing your own child or your own best friend. The grief that comes with losing a pet is a different experience for every person.
Those who have been with their pets for only a short time may find it easier to move on compared to those who have been with their pets for several years.
However, the length of time spent together does not determine the love that was shared.
A person can fall in love and bond with a pet for a short period of time, and the bond could be just as special as those who’ve been together for years. A person who shared a lot of memories with their pets may find it harder to accept their pet’s passing.
Additionally, owners who fell short in providing the pet’s needs due to lack of time or finances could feel responsible for their death. Guilt-ridden grief is harder to deal with and may even discourage a person from owning a pet forever.
If this is something you have recently experienced, or if someone you know is going through loss and grief, here are some guidance on how to cope with it:
Welcome the pain
Pain is human. To love someone warrants inevitable pain. Don’t be ashamed to cry. If you need to grieve for days, weeks, or months, then allow yourself to do so.
It doesn’t matter what other people think – your pain is none of their business.
Don’t try to conceal or suppress your grief because that is unhealthy. You will “leak out” in other ways and you may end up taking it out on other people.
Go out with friends… or not
Each person grieves in their own way. If you’re the type of person who would like to be surrounded by a crowd, then go out more often and surround yourself with your friends.
If you’re more of an introvert who’s more comfortable being alone, then let yourself be.
The important thing is that you are able to find peace of mind and eventually accept your pet’s passing, whether that is outside with the noise and crowd or inside your room where it is quiet and you’re alone.
Join a support group
Again, this would depend on your preference. You may search for a support group that you can physically attend, and you may also join an online support group where you can connect with others who are also going through the same ordeal.
Knowing other people who went through the same thing can make you feel like you are not alone and that you too, will get through the pain.
Pay tribute to your pet
Paying tribute is also a part of the grieving process. Every pet is special in its own way, and every pet owner is proud to have had them.
A tribute doesn’t have to be grand or ceremonial. It could be as simple as framing your pet’s paw print or making a collage of your pet’s pictures.
You may also scatter your pet’s ashes on special places you’ve spent together.
Believe that your pet is in a special place
Many people believe that there is a special heaven for pets where they can run and play all day without getting tired or sick. It doesn’t matter if this is make-believe or not, nobody can prove it anyway.
Believing that your pet is eternally happy and is no longer in pain will bring you comfort and warmth, making the grieving process easier.
Our pet’s lives are very brief compared to ours’. The unconditional love they give us makes us cherish and love them even more.
But every life comes to an end, and this is something that most of us are not prepared for. To love is to be blessed, and to love is to be subject to pain.
Despite losing a pet, we should be thankful for the short amount of time they were a part of our lives, and never be discouraged in caring for more of them.