Losing a beloved pet family member is a bit different than losing a human friend or member of the family. There is a center focus of absolute loyalty and innocence with our pets and we know that they turn to us in complete confidence that we love them. They are part of our daily routine and when we lose them, we lose a part of ourselves. These circumstances often leave us with a sense of turmoil and helplessness and in our extreme emotional state we may feel prompted to take actions to appease the anguish and pain. Whenever you have an emotional upset in your life, the rule-of-thumb is to give yourself the time that you need after your loss.
Grief counselors will advise all that have lost a loved one to allow yourself to not only feel your pain, but to talk about it, express it and understand that this is part of our human coping mechanism. You must give yourself and your family the ability to create a new sense of “normal.” This may be the part that hurts the most, but it is a requirement so that you can make sensible, logical and rash decisions for your future.
If you have people that understand how you are feeling, talk with them about your emotions and what you are going through. However, if you don’t, and you find yourself surrounded by those that don’t understand your grief, move away from those and consider joining a pet loss support group. These are individuals that can help you go through the journey of loss and share in the same daily ups and downs that you are going through.
You know in your heart of hearts that your life will never be the same without your beloved pet family member. You feel as if part of your very core has been ripped away from you and yet one of the things to look to is the fact that with time, you will begin to heal and the pain can be replaced with happier times and memories. This is accomplished by talking with others and sharing and you must accept the feelings that you are experiencing, even when they are crying, yelling and anger
A good way to develop a path to healing is to begin to implement various ways to honor the life and love that you had with your pet. These can be small things such as having pictures around that act as pet memorials, having a portrait painting made, or even choosing memorial keepsake such as jewelry or pendants. Each one of these is part of the steps to healing and your choice is very personal to you for your pet.
One of the key aspects of giving yourself time is also holding back on the major decisions of getting another pet. Your inner soul will ache for the loss and you will have a desire to replace your beloved family member to try to fill that ache. This feeling may also occur if you have other pets or even members of your family that are feeling the loss in the same way that you are. Give everyone the time that you need so that you can get through your grieving process. You will know when the time is right to seek out another pet for your family and then you can focus on the love and joy of that addition.