Support for Those Who Have Lost Their Pet
If you have recently lost a pet and find yourself overwhelmed with grief, perhaps it will help you to know that you’re not strange, you’re not some kind of weird person because you grieve in this way for an animal.
For the devoted pet owner, a death of a beloved animal is not unlike the death of a family member. And you’ll be happy to know that if you can’t deal with the grief on your own, there is help available for you.
How you deal with the pain and loneliness that death brings will likely be unique to you. It’s typical for your emotions to go through many ups and downs as you try to understand your loss and death itself. Sometimes the pet owner plays the “what if” game, sometimes even blaming them self for the loss.
If you find yourself doing that, stop right there and refuse to indulge in this needless guilt trip. It’s not unusual to want to go back in time and do something differently, but if you’re honest, you have to admit that you did the best you could with the situation you had.
Blaming yourself for the loss of your pet is not constructive in any way; instead, focus on positive ways to grieve the loss. One way to do this is to express yourself through a creative outlet. Writing about the animal or drawing can be constructive outlets for your grief.
There are also pet-loss support groups available who can help you through the process, just ask at the local vet and they should be able to point you in the right direction.
Even if you don’t want to formally talk to a counsellor about your situation, do talk to someone. Talking can be quite helpful, especially if you find someone who shares your compassion and love for animals.
Want to talk to someone and remain anonymous, there are pet and regular bereavement hotlines around the country and almost all of them will talk with those mourning the loss of an animal as well as the loss of a family member or friend. Just do a Google or Yahoo search for “pet loss support hotline”or “pet bereavement hotline.”
After the death of your pet, allow yourself time and opportunity to recall the good times you shared with your cat or dog. This is where a pet-loving friend can be helpful, as you share your memories of the pet with him or her, the healing will come, it just takes time.