- Aug 22, 2018
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Dealing with Loss
Here are some suggestions for how to cope with loss that I have learned from my own personal experience, reading, chat groups and message boards.
The grief you feel at the beginning can be overpowering both emotionally and physically, but, please take heart, it will get better with time. The grief is a natural result of the love and connection you had with your dear pet. The grieving process, despite being so painful, is also a natural process. Our bond with our pets is often deeper than the ones we share with people.
Suggestions for initial grief
- Let the tears flow as they will help you heal. They are Tears Of Love and an important expression of love and sadness.
- Keep drinking water especially if you're crying a lot. Keep eating. It's important to take care of yourself physically.
- Talk with supportive friends and family. HUGE WARNING: often people do not understand the grief we feel for our lost pet. As a result, be prepared if they are less than helpful.
- Go to online pet bereavement chat, bulletin boards, or a counsellor that specializes in pet bereavement.
- Give yourself permission and time to grieve.
I don't believe that we “get over” the lost of our beloved pet. I don't like the words “closure” or “resolution” because it gives the idea that there's an ending to our grief. So that's why I look at it as “Healing and Acceptance” or better yet, finding a way to live again and regaining a happier life. We will carry our pets in our hearts and souls forever.
They have enriched our lives and made us better people and the world a better place to live in.
Please try any of these suggestions that you feel may be helpful:
- have a Memorial in Celebration of your pet's life
- light a candle
- make a small shrine
- make a memories box of a locket of fur, toys…..
- make a photo album
- make a journal about your pet. This can be a really great project. Write about the things that you feel are important. It could include topics like these: how you met, funny stories, special characteristics, things you like to do together, special places you'd go to, favourite activities, special talents, your pet's personality, what your pet look like…...
- write a letter(s) to your pet
- email your pet by sending one to yourself: Dear ______
- have your pet write a letter(s) to you
- talk with your pet
- have your pet talk to you
- change the routines of your life, especially the ones that involved your pet
- make a donation to a pet charity
- volunteer at a pet shelter
- go to an online pet bereavement chat like aplb.org. There are also a list of counsellors that specialize in pet bereavement
- read books about pet bereavement. I found Dr. Sife’s book, The Loss of a Pet, very helpful as well as When Your Pet Dies: A Guide to Mourning, Remembering and Healing Paperback by Alan D. Wolfelt
- this one is worth repeating. Make a journal about favorite memories and happy moments.
- keep socializing and getting out. If you isolate yourself you can get trapped in a revolving circle of negative thoughts and feelings
- remember that it is okay to heal. Do not punish yourself with guilt or feel that you must mourn forever to prove that you loved your pet. Your love for your pet was made to enrich your lives and the world.
**** Please add more suggestions ****
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