Losing a pet can be devastating as they are an important member of the family and can be a very big part of your life. Whether the loss was sudden or you had to make the decision to humanly end your pet’s life there are some things you can do to help you through the grief process.
- Remember that grief is normal and so is anger at losing your best friend. Sometimes the sadness can be overwhelming and this is normal.
- It is important to talk about your feelings. Try and talk to another pet lover as they generally understand how you are feeling, particularly if they have also experienced the loss of a pet.
- Try to focus on the positive times you have had with your pet.
- Write down how you are feeling. You may even want to write a story or even a poem about your pet.
- Make a book or a photo album dedicated to your pet.
- If you were unable to bury your pet at home, make a special part of the garden dedicated to that pet. Plant a special plant to commemorate your pet’s life.
- If children were involved with the pet’s life ensure they are also involved in the families grieving process.
- It is important for children to express their feelings. Younger children will probably have lots of questions about the death and they often benefit from making memorials, books and photo albums to celebrate the pet’s life. Teenagers can often be more withdrawn but deep down they can be very bitter about their loss. Include them as best as possible. They might like to make their own private memorial.
- If you feel you are not coping with the loss then seeking professional help is advisable. You must remember you are not alone and you are not overreacting. Losing a pet can be devastating. Speaking to one of our staff may help you or we may need to refer you to a counsellor.