Each moment you wake to the snuggles and face licks from your pet, be grateful for the gift of life. Be appreciative that you and your pet are in good health. Because losing your pet to illness or sudden death is traumatizing and can be one of the darkest periods in your lifetime. Not to talk of the bonds and emotional connections formed. Coping with the loss of a pet is a saddening experience. It requires patience, self-forgiveness, and above all, time!
In this comprehensive guide, we will provide practicable and conscious steps that will help you properly navigate the grieving process and enable you to find solace during this difficult time of your life.
How To Cope With The Loss Of A Beloved Pet
1. It Is Okay To Grieve
Yes, it is okay to grieve. Acknowledging this phase is usually the first step to healing. Trying to move on from the loss of a pet is an emotional journey that warrants acknowledgment and acceptance. It’s vital to allow yourself to grieve and understand that it’s perfectly natural to feel a wide range of emotions at this unprecedented time of your life. Sadness, guilt, anger, and loneliness are among the common emotions felt in coping with the loss of a beloved pet.
2. Create a Meaningful Goodbye
Doing this shows you have accepted it as fate. I mean, in life bad things happen. And dwelling on negative experiences can be toxic to one’s very existence. Creating a meaningful goodbye is indeed a healing process.
You can hold a memorial or funeral service to honor the memory of your late furry friend. Have friends and family around. Those who also shared a special connection with your pet. You all can reminisce about the memorable moments.
3. Seek Emotional Support
Truthfully, you can’t move on by yourself. You’ll need the support and love from others to do so. So reach out for support. Coping with the loss of your beloved pet requires that you share your feelings with friends and family who can proffer love, comfort, and understanding.
Also, a quick thing to do is join support forums for pet loss. It is a relieving thing to do as you’ll hear from other pet owners who lost theirs and learn how they were able to navigate through the rough patch.
4. Preserve Your Pet’s Memories
When I lost my bunny rabbit, Max, it ushered in different types of emotions I didn’t know I could experience. I felt bad about the entire thing. It took a lot of time to forgive myself, but I knew I just had to. So, what did I do? I wrote a poem! (I’ll share it below). Writing that poem helped in the healing process. It gave me a sort of relief and closure.
There are other things you could explore to preserve the memory of your pet. Celebrate the times shared by creating some sort of memorial. It could come in the form of a photo album or a personalized tribute. Anything works at this point! Whatever works for you, just do it to honor their memory. Here’s the poem below:
For Max My Bunny Rabbit
everything opens to the idea
of dying at some point as
attaining immortality is like
trying to oppose
of wind with your feeble
breath. but what if living is
all you ever lived for?
sometimes I think
of my bunny, I remember his cute
eyes & ever-twitching
nose. & I snarl at the day
I gave him up. I see him
hiding in the
corner. scared. his heart made
of two hydraulic pistons.
pounding. his wide ears emitting
fear as if to say he knows
his careless owner
would let him go. my room now
stained with silence. thousands
of “I wish” splattered against
5. Be Open To Self-Care And Healing
If you’ve not been engaging in social activities, this is the time to do so. Go out with friends, and engage in self-care activities. Do anything that helps you cope with the loss of your pet. Try to have fun. Anything that brings joy to your embittered heart, be open to it. Exercising and carrying out meditations are perfect ideas to consider in alleviating the effects of grief.
Reaching out to professionals is beneficial as well in coping with the loss of your pet. It’s part of self-care and healing. For periods of prolonged grief, that is, you have checked and discovered to completely heal, you’d need to seek professional help, then be open to it as it is a wise decision.
Professionals in pet grief counseling will provide specialized support to guide you through the grieving process, also helping you find ways to cope and heal.
6. Consider Getting A New Pet
This is the last and final stage of coping with the loss of your pet. If you can do this, then your healing is complete. This is a deep and extremely conscious choice. Mind you, do not make this decision in haste. It should be done when you’re certain to be ready. Give yourself time. Do not rush the healing process. Getting a new pet will usher light into your life. A contrast with the bleak past created by the loss of your furry friend.
Remember, your new pet might never fill the void left by your lost pet, but what they would do is bring a new type of joy and love into your heart.