Why Is Losing a Pet So Difficult?
Our pets add so much value, love and companionship to our lives, which makes it so hard to lose them. During these times, it’s key to process our emotions and take steps to care for ourselves. Here are a few ways to manage the grieving process after losing a member of the family.
Grief looks and feels different for everyone. It may come in stages or waves and never has a definite timeline. A “normal” grieving process can change drastically over time, so finding ways to cope can help alleviate feelings of sadness or loneliness.
Methods to Help with Coping
There’s no right or wrong way to grieve, but there are proven ways to help the process.
Meditation or breathing exercises encourage us to be in-tune with our bodies and minds, which helps us better process emotions and heal. It may be challenging at first to quiet thoughts or be still, but it will come with time.
Many pet owners decide to host a funeral or other mourning ritual to honor their pet and emotionally cope with their loss. This also offers a chance to say final goodbyes, either solo or surrounded by people that care.
Talking to Others
Whether it be friends, family, a mental health professional or an online pet support group, talking through emotions with someone trustworthy can provide immense relief. It can be especially helpful to seek guidance from those who have experienced the hardships of pet loss firsthand.
Create a Memorial
Framing their photos, planting a tree, or visiting their favorite spot are all ways to honor a pet’s life and the memories shared with them.
Be Kind to Yourself While Coping
Healing takes time for everyone, but exactly how much time is unique for each of us. Just take things slow, allow room to grieve, and practice self-care in a way that feels right. However hard it may feel, the coping period will ultimately end and the great memories will live on.