When You Lose Multiple Pets
Knowing that our pets don’t live as long as we do never helps when they pass. Families will often have multiple pets of similar ages so that they can enjoy each level of life with each other and the families. This is a double-edged sword because it also means that there is a good chance that they will pass very close to each other.
The loss of a pet is heartbreaking; the loss of multiple pets can be devastating. Planning more than one pet memorial can dredge up the grief and sorrow that has barely had any time to begin to heal and open the wound so that it becomes incredibly painful for the entire family. You may not recognize the condition as you go through the plans of a dog funeral or a pet cremation, but within days the pain will hit you all like a bolt of lightning.
Having multiple pets in the household is a joy like no other. There is a sense of comradery, team and family. When multiple pets are lost, there is a deep hole that we feel plunged into without the hope of crawling out. Not only do we feel an intense state of loss, but the daily routines that have become so normal and natural are suddenly ripped away. To try to maintain that balance in your life you may be tempted to run out and get new pets. However, this is not recommended as you not only need but require the time to process your grief.
Many therapists have suggested that instead of trying to “replace” your pets, that you instead temper these feelings by visiting friends and family that also have pets. You can surround yourself with the love and affection of their pets and then when the appropriate time comes you can make a logical and less emotionally stressed decision to add new pets to your life.
As a pet parent you understand the bond that you share with your beloved furred ones. In some cases, people are closer to their pets than to other human beings. This makes the loss even more devastating as you experience a sense of being alone and lost. These feelings are all part of grief and it makes you more vulnerable than at other times in your life.
Give yourself the time and space to become accustomed to an existence without those that you were devoted to for so many years. This will be a kind of “balance” for you and others in your family. Once this new normal is experienced it will also allow you the ability to calmly and quietly talk about adding a new pet or multiple pets as a group. If you are alone, you can begin to walk to the road of recognizing the feeling when the time is right and take that commitment step to including other pets when you are more stable and secure.
There is never a quick fix for the loss of multiple pets, but understanding yourself can prepare you for going through grief and sorrow and maybe then incorporating another furred creature to share your life with.