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Losing a beloved pet is akin to losing a family member. The emotional and mental upheaval is a lot to deal with, especially if that pet has been a part of the family for a long time. To deal with your pet’s loss, it’s essential to accept and feel the pain. This is a necessary first step because, in our modern society, we’re always looking for ways to avoid feelings of grief. We typically hear things like “cheer up,” “stay busy,” or “get a new pet.” However, this does nothing but prolong the feeling of grief.
Listed below, are five effective strategies on you can deal with the loss of your pet:
One of the best things you can do is talk about your beloved feline or canine to another person. Find someone who wouldn’t mind a lengthy discussion about your pet. This can be a person, a hotline or even a support group. Engage in this process for as long as you feel the need.
2. Address Feelings of Guilt
Most people assume that they will pass away in their sleep, however, this is rarely the case. Your pet may get very sick and need to be euthanized. As a result, pet owners struggle with this guilt at having to make this choice. Don’t look at it as taking your pet’s life. Rather you spared him or her the pain and struggle of suffering.
3. Hold a Ceremony
This is an important part of the healing process. Host a small gathering of close friends and family members, like you would if it were a funeral. You may do this before, after, or even during your pet’s life (just before it passes). The ceremony is definitely gut-wrenching but necessary to start dealing with grief.
4. Involve Children with Remembrances
Keep in mind that children also feel loss and grief. Some of them may not be able to express it as easily as adults. Encourage your child to talk about how they’re feeling. Whether they talk about their beloved pet or require physical comfort, encourage them to deal with their pain. Request your child to draw a painting or footprints of your pet.
5. Don’t Rush
Deal with the sadness at your own pace. There’s no need to rush it. Grief and how you deal with it is a highly individual experience. There is no right or wrong period to overcome this grief. Even if this means leaving your beloved dog’s food dish out for another month or so, then so be it! Dealing with your pet’s death is a painful process, but by enabling yourself to feel the grief and dealing with it in a slow and effective manner, you will experience closure.