Taking care of yourself, dealing with the aftermath and processing the emotions of losing a pet is something that people experience every single day. Although you might feel like the only person in the world right now, you’re certainly not alone. When getting a pet you knew one day that you’d have to deal with the inevitable, but it doesn’t make the process any simpler, kinder or easier on your heart. Unfortunately, not everybody is as understanding as you’d like them to be when it comes to losing a dear pet. People who don’t have pets don’t always comprehend how significant the loss could be to you or your family. In most cases, an animal is central to peoples’ lives; it’s how they get through their day and manage their emotions. When you’re faced with an unexpected loss it can take a lot of time to heal.
Accepting Their Death
As soon as the death of your pet occurs, you probably won’t accept it right away. You would most certainly consider your pet to be a member of the family, which makes the grieving process raw and charged with emotion. Much like you celebrate your loved ones’ birthday you probably enjoyed a party for your beloved furry friend; you may even have carried a picture of them around in your wallet. There will be constant reminders of them around you, which can make it very difficult to process that they’re no longer here with you. Feeling overwhelmed with intense sorrow is completely natural, so allow yourself to cry it out as you come to terms with their death.
There is no easy way to gain closure when you lose a pet, but there are ways to make the process kinder to yourself and your family. One of the most sentimental things you could do is invest in a beautiful pet memorial or cremation urn. You can choose from a variety of styles and colors to suit their personality perfectly. Going through the motions and taking these steps is a great way to find the closure you’re looking for after the death of a much-loved dog or pet.
Missing Them as Part of the Family
It’s likely that your family routine revolved around your dog or your pet. Perhaps you had to get up in the morning to take them for a walk or you used to eat together at mealtimes. Missing them as a part of the family will cause heartache, but it’s important to find the positives in the situation and remember the good times. Going for a family walk together and talking about your beloved pet can often help to bring up deep rooted emotions; most people feel much better after talking about how they’re feeling.
The Process of Grief
The stages of grief after the loss of a pet are not dissimilar to the loss of a close family member or friend. The most important thing to remember is that you’re truly not alone in this. When you take the time to do some research online you will find a whole host of support groups and people who will lend an ear when you’re going through a hard time. Give yourself permission to express your grief in a healthy way and don’t hesitate to contact people you trust during the process. A lot of people find that creative outlets are a huge helping hand when it comes to grieving the loss of a pet. You could write a poem, paint a picture or create a short story; these creative activities are a brilliant way to express emotion and turn your pain into something beautiful.
How to Cope With Sadness
You will inevitably experience waves of sadness when you think about the loss of your much-loved pet, but you should never suppress your feelings or allow them to build up over time. Talking and expressing yourself is one of the healthiest approaches you can take when you’re going through the death of a pet. Sadness is part of the process, but it will get better as time goes on.
Explaining the Death to Children
One of the hardest parts of losing a family pet is explaining their death to the younger ones in your family. Luckily, children are very understanding and resilient, sometimes more so than adults. They will have a different level of awareness to you and the rest of your family, so it’s important to explain things to them in a way that makes sense for their age. Try to explain to the children that the death of their pet isn’t their fault or anybody else’s. Sometimes these things simply happen and we have no control over it. Show the children that it’s okay to feel sad and express grief in their own way; this will help them to express their emotions confidently and process the death of their pet.
Adjusting to Life Without a Pet as a Senior
There’s no doubt that pets are a lifeline for many seniors, so when they go through a loss it can be particularly hard. Many older people live alone and find comfort and purpose in their cat or dog. Initially, they’ll probably feel an immense amount of emptiness especially in their home, but also in their heart. It is vital that seniors are given the time and space to process the death of their pet so they can regain a sense of purpose again. Continuing with normal life may feel hard to them, but it’s important to show support and compassion during this difficult time.
When to Get Another Pet
There is no right or wrong time to get another pet after experiencing a loss, but it’s a decision that shouldn’t be made lightly. Firstly, you should always remember that your new pet is not a replacement for your deceased pet. Both animals will carve out their own place in your lives and be equally as important to you and your family.
Hopefully, these notions help you process the death of your pet and give you some structure when it comes to grieving a huge family loss.
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