Coping With The Loss Of A Pet
Coping with the loss of a pet
The loss of a beloved pet can be devastating. Not only have you lost a member of your family, but you’ve also lost your best friend, confidant and life companion. How could you NOT feel grief? To feel a sense of profound grief IS entirely natural.
The trouble is that in today’s often frenetically paced society, many of us don’t feel we have the time to acknowledge our grief and allow our hearts to heal as we would if a human friend or relative had passed away. But taking time to come to terms with your pet’s passing is a vital part of the healing process.
How each of us does this is often very personal and it is important to recognise that. What might be right for one person, isn’t necessarily right for you.
Once a much-loved pet has passed away, essentially, all we are left with are our memories of them and it is how we deal with those memories that can be so important to getting through the grieving process.
There are so many ways in which you can remember your pet. Most of us have photos of our pets which can be continual reminders for many years to come of the happy times we shared. Planting a tree or a plant as a sort of memorial is another common way of being able to remember your pet. Going for long walks along your pet’s favourite route and remembering all the good times you shared, volunteering at a local rescue centre or simply making a donation in their name are other suggestions that work for some pet owners.
For other pet owners, various forms of physical reminders are needed. These can vary from collecting samples of their pet’s fur, keeping their collars, leads or their pet’s ashes right through to making plaster casts of their pet’s paws. We recently had a client request ink prints of their pet rat’s front paws so that they could have tattoos created with them. To some, this may sound slightly unusual, but this is simply another personal way of dealing with a perfectly natural level of grief.
However you choose to remember your pet, be sure to be kind to yourself in the process. Almost invariably, you will feel a complex array of emotions that need to be addressed. Talk to other people, talk to friends, talk to us. Most of all, don’t bottle it up and think that it will go away. It won’t. It will simply take time, but it will take less time if you are open and are brave enough to discuss your feelings with others who can understand what you are going through.
Sometimes, there can be intense feelings of guilt, especially when decisions have had to be made about putting a pet to sleep. It is very important not to try to ignore these feelings or try to push them away. Feelings of guilt again are an entirely natural aspect of the grieving process, but they also need to be discussed openly so that you can arrive at a peaceful understanding and acceptance.
Coping with the loss of a pet can be very difficult. At AlphaPet, we all have pets of our own, and we all know what it means to lose a pet, so always know that we are here to help you though this emotional time. You are not alone and we will do whatever we possibly can to help you cope with the loss of your pet.
The Ralph site is a website dedicated to helping pet owners come to terms with their loss