Overcoming the Loss
Grief is a complex emotion that each of us faces differently. For many of us, the death of a beloved pet creates a very raw, empty sadness. That listening ear, the comfortable, non-judgemental constant… It’s gone. It’s a very real pain and it can smolder in the chest of any individual.
You may find that there are other people you encounter who do not understand your sadness. Not everyone lives with their pets held so tightly in their heartstrings. However, with every person who doesn’t grasp the severity of your loss, you will find there are many more who await with open arms to help keep you up during this time when you are feeling so down.
Coping with the loss of your pet can be a difficult process. It is one that you can face either on your own or with others. Finding the best method to help you overcome such hardship will ultimately be dependent on what direction you decide to follow. Just know that you don’t have to go it alone.
Take Time For You
It’s important to ensure you are taking care of yourself, since grief often has a way of shaking the very fabric of our lives. In times when you feel lost in the sadness, remember that you do have options to help you along with this difficult journey.
Make sure you set aside time for yourself to really face how you are feeling. Give yourself the freedom of feeling those emotions. It may surprise you to notice that you face more than sadness. You may be angry, scared… You may even find that you embrace happier times with your pet alongside the painful ones. It’s okay to laugh, to cry, to scream, to sob. Feeling will help the healing process.
Though keeping your same routine may be difficult at first, it is an important role in helping you move forward. However, a change in routine can also be refreshing and warranted. You may want to take up a new hobby if you now find that you have some extra time or you feel that you don’t wish to be home as often.
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Take Time For Others
You may have other pets that not only share your home, but who have also shared the loss. Do not forget them! Caring for each other will help you all continue on after the death of your friend. Consider playing new games with your other pets, spend extra time grooming them, learn some new tricks, etc., as ways to reassure your pet during such trying times.
Even if you don’t have other pets at home, maybe this is a perfect opportunity for you to get involved with local shelters. Consider taking time that you may have once spent exercising with your dog, or playing with your cat, and spend it volunteering at a local animal shelter. There are plenty of cats, dogs, and other critters that would certainly benefit from your company and care.
If you’re feeling particularly lonely and don’t know who to talk to, join up with different community groups, or find a qualified grief counselor who specializes in supporting individuals after the loss of their pets. Social media groups, grief hotlines, online forums, and local programs are fantastic ways to reach out and find support while supporting others.
The loss of a pet is not something most of us take lightly. It’s a complex mix of emotions that often will feel hollow and sad, but then bring about a smile that accompanies the tears in your eyes. While difficult, it is certainly not something you have to face on your own, if you don’t want to. Finding peace is the ultimate goal.
With each day you face, you have the opportunity to celebrate the awesome being that your pet once was. That in itself is a reward like no other. It will hurt, it will take time and it will get better.