Your pet is your most loyal and trusted companion. Through your shared memories, it’s safe to say that the bond you’ve forged with your furry friend is sacred. Since they are generally considered an important member of the family, the loss of your pet is an incredibly difficult task akin to losing a human friend in some cases.
The grief you experience when you lose your pet comes with its own unique set of emotions. While you may always carry the pain of this loss, here are 5 ways to help you cope with the loss of your pet.
Have a service or ceremony
Many people find comfort in gathering together with their friends and family to honor the memory of their beloved pet. Whether you hold an intimate ceremony in your backyard or have an official burial service at a pet ceremony, a memorial will help provide you with a sense of closure as well as offer you an opportunity to reflect on the happy memories you shared together.
Keep Their Memory Alive
“A great soul serves everyone all the time. A great soul never dies. It brings us together again and again.” – Maya Angelou quote. These words certainly ring true when it comes to thinking about the passing of your pet. They represent a certain period in your life, one that you will not forget in a hurry. But many of us are worried that we will forget.
One of the best ways to remember your furry BFF is to keep something that reminds you of them. Whether it’s a photo, their favorite toy, collar, or a cremation urn, keeping a special keepsake is a great way to memorialize your pet and ensure their spirit will always stay with you. A physical memento of your pet will remind you that while you have lost your friend, their memory will live forever.
Make Room For Your Emotions
The loss of a pet can feel particularly tough, especially since often, a decline in your pet’s health can feel sudden and unexpected. There’s no doubt when you lose your pet, you will experience sadness and sometimes even guilt. But, it’s important to allow yourself to feel these emotions rather than dismiss them. Like any grieving process, you need time to process your emotions. If you feel uncomfortable outwardly expressing your feelings to your loved ones, then perhaps you could use a journal as an emotional outlet.
Unfortunately, there will be some people who won’t understand your grief. You might even want to prepare yourself to hear the words ‘it’s just a pet’. But, it’s important to not allow these dismissive sentiments to minimize or repress your feelings. These emotions are natural and must be experienced in order to come to terms with loss.
Find A Pet Support Group
If you feel that your emotions are becoming overwhelming and there’s no one you can turn to, it might be a good idea to seek out a pet support group. You can either ask your local veterinarian or conduct an online search to help find some groups in your areas. A support group specific to pets will offer some welcome relief as you can express your feelings to people who can truly empathize with your situation. Discussing your grief without fear of judgment will help alleviate your emotional burden.
Reach Out For Support
Don’t be afraid to reach out to your loved ones. Chances are, your friends and family will be more than willing to be there for you during this time. Even if your friends or family can’t truly understand your grief, having people who will listen as you talk about your feelings will help you feel that you’re not alone in this process.
If you’re having an especially hard time coming to terms with this process, consider seeking help from a professional. Speaking with a therapist will help you develop strategies to cope with your grief.
Undeniably, losing your pet is a heartbreaking experience. Your bond will never be forgotten and will continue to live inside your heart. Their companionship will never be replaced. While this pain may feel very raw for now, just remember that this process will get easier over time. Allow your grieving process to run its course and remember the good times.
Nat Juchems is Green Meadow Memorials’ Marketing Director. Nat helps those grieving the loss of a loved find the right memorial to cherish. Before becoming the Marketing Director at Green Meadow Memorials, Nat worked for six years in the memorials ecommerce industry as a Marketing Director and Ecommerce Director, using his skill set to manage powerful paid search and organic search campaigns as well as implement merchandising strategies and manage the software development teams that made everything work.
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