COPING WITH PET LOSS
Pets bring so much joy and happiness to our lives, so it makes sense that losing a beloved pet is a devastating event. Unfortunately this is a part of life and will need to be dealt with. Please know that you are not alone in feeling sad that your pet has passed.
There are five stages of grief, and we may experience one stage for a longer period of time than others. The five stages are:
1. Denial and Isolation - Denial is a defense mechanism. In this stage we are blocking out our overwhelming emotions.
2. Anger - In this stage, we feel anger at so many things. It could be anger towards the deceased loved one, other family members, ourselves, strangers, etc.
3. Bargaining - In the Bargaining stage, we think about the “what if’s”. What if the vet had done something sooner? What if we had paid better attention to our pet? What if we had spent more time with our beloved pet?
4. Depression - In this stage, we experience the sadness and perhaps regret of losing a dear pet. We worry about the costs or how we will ever get through this experience.
5. Acceptance - You may need more time than others to reach this final stage: Acceptance. Everyone is different and everyone grieves in different ways. Please know you are not alone in the grieving process and do not hesitate to reach out to friends and family members.
Perhaps you personally have not lost a pet, but you know someone who has. What can you do?
1. Be there – Offer to meet for coffee and just listen. Give them a hug.
2. Offer support – provide support and reassure that you are there for them. Be a good friend.
Finally, think about finding an appropriate memorial to honor your beloved pet. Perhaps a nice photo frame with your pet’s picture will be a nice way to remember and honor your pet. Or, plant a tree in your yard in remembrance of your friend. Another option is a memorial to display in your home. Do what you feel is best to help yourself through the grieving process and to rightfully honor your pet.
Take care and love those babies you still have at home....they need you more than ever, and you need them more than ever, too❤️