Attending a support group for the loss of a pet can be the most beneficial gift that you give to yourself. While friends, family and neighbors may empathize with what you are going through, only those that are in the same situation can truly know how you feel. A support group offers a kind of sanctuary and with the help of a therapist, can assist in guiding you through the various moments of grief and anxiety. Whether you are in the middle of your loss, planning a pet memorial or dealing with a pet cremation, those in your group will know exactly what you are experiencing.
There are very few rules in a support group and you are typically never required to talk or contribute. If you want to attend and remain silent, you can do so or you can pour out all of the jumbled and tearful feelings that you have during that week. Members of a support group are there with you and are often part of the process of getting through the trials of anxiety and stress and can be helpful in letting you know that you are not alone in your loss of a beloved furred family member.
The therapist will often lead the group with readings as well as suggested books that may help you and various members of the group may offer what they have gone through since the last meeting. In some cases it can be a bad week while in other situations they may convey their personal progress. Grieving for any loss is completely unique, and grieving for a pet, with whom we have devoted our lives and shared a special bond can throw us into a feeling of devastation. A support group can be the one place that you can feel completely open and honest. Where others in your life may not comprehend how deeply you are hurt, this group knows and feels the same as you.
Everyone grieves in a different way and the one thing that you can count on in a pet loss support group is that there isn’t any judgement. They know that there aren’t time limits on grief and anxiety and you are free to listen to their stories and feelings, shed tears, tell how you are doing or simply remain silent. The benefits from being part of the group is in the understanding that you are all sharing the same emotional roller coaster and that you have a place to go where you can lean on others; and they in turn, can lean on you.
The stress from grief of a beloved pet turns our personal lives into a turmoil, often removing our abilities for rational thought and actions. A support group can give a baseline location to try to put everything back together again. Attending will remind us that nothing will ever be the same and to learn how to deal with this life situation. You can feel comfortable in crying, laughing, telling stories and even seeking advice on how to move forward. In a lot of cases, those in the group already have experience in pet memorials, dog funerals and pet cremation. You will be surrounded by those that will be open to sharing and as you continue to attend, you can share what you learn as well.