Coping with Pet Loss
First of all, we are so sorry for the loss of your beloved pet. Without a doubt, the death of a pet can be one of the hardest things we face. Though their lives are shorter on average than our own, their impact on our lives is no less meaningful than the relationships we hold with other people. If you’re struggling with the loss of a pet, you are not alone and you are not wrong for experiencing the deepest feelings of grief in these circumstances.
To help cope with the loss of a pet, consider all of the following recommendations from grief support specialists:
Don’t be afraid to cry - Tears are a natural expression of your grief. Stifling them does a disservice to your emotional health and to the memory of your pet.
Write notes to your pet - When you’re feeling your worst, write the words you’d like to say to your pet down in a note. This will help you to process the complex emotions of grieving.
Take care of yourself - Grief can cause us to lose sleep, eat poorly and miss our exercise routines. Taking care of yourself by maintaining your healthy habits leaves you better prepared to handle the grieving process.
Be kind to yourself - Take a long bath, read a favorite book or enjoy a long walk through the woods. Being kind to yourself is something positive you can do in memory of your pet.
Avoid unnecessary changes - Major changes in your life or daily routine will only add to your stress. If possible, save them for a time when you’ve had a chance to heal.
Reach out to others - Anyone who’s had a pet knows what it feels like to say goodbye. Reaching out to others for support can be a healing way to release some of your pent-up emotions.
Find resources for others in your life - Children and the elderly in particular may have a more difficult time navigating the grief of pet loss. If necessary, find the resources needed to guide them through this process.
If you feel that your grief over losing your pet is overwhelming your ability to cope with the daily demands of your life, contact our office. We are happy to provide referrals to counselors and other resources that can get you the support you need.