There isn’t any right or wrong way to experience grief. In the same concept, there isn’t a time line that can be set that indicates that grieving should be done. The loss of a beloved furred family member strikes that the very heart and during this time it’s important to talk about the life that you shared with your pet with family and friends.
It doesn’t matter if you experienced anticipatory loss due to an illness or if the loss was sudden and unexpected. Each one brings its own grief and anguish and to get through the process you need to recognize your feelings and those of other family members. There will be times that you think that you are moving to the next level of acceptance and then a simple memory or vision brings you back to the pain. Having open conversation with those that know you and loved your pet is one of the easiest ways to help in the transition.
Friends and family will be there for you to listen and share your tears. You should be aware of the five stages of grief so that you can make every attempt to move forward. Be prepared to experience the shock or denial of your loss, a sense of anger that you no longer have your pet in your life, the state of “bargaining” with your friends or God to change the situation, a feeling of being overwhelmed, often with sadness and depression, and finally the condition of acceptance that helps to move on to healing. Make sure that you surround yourself with family and friends that can be there for you in an unobtrusive way. They will listen, cry with you and even laugh as you remember so many good times that you shared with your beloved pet.
The conversations that you have with family and friends regarding your loss will be very simple and complex. This is a time in your life that you will feel as if the world has stopped and everything is in slow motion. Allow those that are around you to talk and help in your healing. Grieving is a very personal journey and those that love you will assist you down the path.
While you are going through your grief, you may experience a loss of appetite and even interest in everything that used to make you happy. While this is a temporary condition, be sure to take care of yourself. Let friends and family assist you by welcoming them when they bring over food and want to spend time talking and sharing. They will be a support factor for you and can help as you go through both bad and good feelings.
Your support network is there for you, so take advantage of it. As you transport through grief and come out on the other side, you will be able to understand and then offer help and assistance for others when they go through the same thing. Sharing and talking about the bond that you shared with your pet is how we get through their loss.