Tears of grief and anguish at the loss of a pet go beyond the moments of a dog funeral or pet memorial. The extreme emotions that we feel when our beloved furred family member passes surpasses description and enters shock as we try to understand that our lives will never be the same. Our friends and family may be sympathetic but unless they have experienced the same feelings there may be some that set a time limit for you to “get over it” and move on. You need to know that you are not under any obligation to explain how and why you grieve or how long it takes you to process it.
Some individuals may never have shared the kind of integral bond that you had with your pet. This is a unique relationship of love and honor and you both depended upon each other for emotional and life needs that are elevated beyond those that we have with people. Our pets represent a sense of innocence of the world; the simplicity of pure love and devotion without the human complications. The loss of this bond snaps our psychological stability and can often destroy the very baseline of our lives. Since every human being is uniquely different, our method of processing grief can also be our own. You need to ignore anyone that tells you to get over your loss and take the time that you require.
This is not to say that there aren’t some circumstances that extend beyond the boundaries of standard grief and enter into a psychological problem. We all may have a tear come to our eyes as we fondly remember a beloved pet that we lost so many years ago. However, if ten or twenty years later we are experiencing the lack of functionality that grief often brings, there is a requirement to seek professional help.
For some, the emotional sharing is so intertwined in their lives that they go into a deep state of depression. Friends may think that they are helping by telling you that you are taking the loss too seriously. If you are lucky enough to have other pets in your home, you may find yourself depending upon their love to get you through your loss. There is no harm in choosing love over sadness and this can be a way to help process the grief.
While we all logically know that no pet will be the same as the one that we have lost, some may try to reconnect that bond by listening to those around them that advise them to go out and adopt another pet. Make this choice carefully, as it is often coming from the same people that expect you to quickly bounce back into your usual behavior. Getting a pet too soon may be a disservice to both you and the pet as you may not be ready to refocus your love.
Surround yourself with those that understand your emotional state and ignore those that are setting time limits for your grief. One of the best suggestions is to join a pet loss support group. These are individuals that are going through the same feelings and problems that you are experiencing and you may be surprised at the benefits that you get from being a part of a group.