How To Cope With The Loss Of A Pet
Our pets are our everything, and although we know that nothing lasts forever, we wish that weren’t the case for our fur babies. We are our pets’ entire lives, and more often than not, they are a portion of ours. However, that doesn’t make separating from their companionship easier when it’s time they passed on. As people, we are so lucky to have the opportunity to be our pets’ responsible guardians, and having the chance to walk life with them by our side is priceless. So when it is time, how are we meant to cope with the loss of a pet? How can we make it easier?
At Miami Pet Concierge, we always want to lend a helping hand, and in this blog, we provide you with some tips and mechanisms that won’t take the pain away but give you that support, so you don’t have to walk this time alone.
Go Through The Grieving Process
If you’re wondering if it is normal to grieve over an animal, we are the first ones to put our hand up with a resounding “YES.” But, remember, you don’t need permission. Your relationship with your pet is yours only, and how you need to process their loss is up to you.
We advise honoring and feeling the emotion, and it is good to move through your feelings instead of blocking them out altogether. Finding closure sounds so final; however, it can be good to get the words and emotions off of your chest so you can start to move forward and heal. Just because the tears slow down doesn’t mean the memories disappear.
Holding a ceremony or a small gathering with some loved ones close to your pet is a great way to share the memories and let your pet live on beyond their physical form. Sharing fun anecdotes, how your pet made you feel, and listening to how your pet impacted others will help you realize what a whole life they had and how they affected you and others.
If you’re not one for sharing your emotions in public, perhaps creating a memory book will help you process your pet’s life and how much fun they had with you. Looking back on photos can start the healing process. Each picture holds more than a thousand words.
Maintain Your Routines
Routines are good to keep structure in your life. Knowing you need to do something and have some other purpose will help you keep chugging along. If you have other pets in your household, keeping up with their routines is essential. They will also feel the loss, and being there for them will help you all cope together.
Help Other Pets
Foster a pet or help out at a shelter. Helping other pets and positively impacting their lives is always an excellent way to help manage your feelings. When your pet passes on, you haven’t lost them. They still live in your heart, they have positively impacted you too, and they will want you to pass that on. Know that your purpose as a responsible guardian doesn’t stop there. Being around other animals, seeing them all at different stages of their lives puts a lot into perspective, especially when helping those less fortunate.
We are not saying that you need to start moving on and grieve and then suddenly feel okay. You will experience ebbs and flows. Some days will be harder than others. Just listen to your body and know when you need to take a step back and practice self-care. Whatever that may look like for you:
- Social media detox
- A bubble bath
- A hike
- A dance class
- Cooking a nourishing meal
Whatever that may be, whether you need to spend time alone or time together with your support group- know that you have the right to do so.
Seek Outside Help
This can be rough, and sometimes it takes professional help to get you back on your feet. There is a point in the grieving period when it starts taking a toll on you, and you stop functioning in your everyday life; this is the point we would advise seeking professional help. There is no shame in it. Your pet was a massive part of your life; they were a separate entity of yours no longer by your side.
If you’re not at that point but still need some help to get you on your feet, a pet support group may be the way to go. There are many options out there. Click HERE to find hotlines, pet loss grief support groups, and more.
Being in a group setting and listening to others going through the same thing can help you cope in other ways. For example, you will feel less alone and gain a lot of perspectives.
We know it is hard but know in your hearts that when they cross that rainbow bridge, they will be looking down over you and remembering all of the precious memories you have had together. Remember that moving on does not mean that they are lost forever, their memories live on, and what they have taught you will always be present.
Nicole founded Miami Pet Concierge in May 2007, with a mission to provide Miami, Florida’s pet parents with personalized pet care plans based on their pets’ species, age, breed, health, and lifestyle. All while keeping their pets “happy at home.” In addition, offering pet care education for all pet owners to guide them to become great pet parents.