Whether it was sudden or anticipated, the loss of a pet is a highly emotional time. When your pet is gone, it’s important to remember all the good times and all the joy you brought into each other’s lives. Take care of yourself during this sad time and remember thatgrief is a normal response to loss.
Your Quiet Home
The silence in your home after the death of a pet will be excruciatingly loud. It is common to replay the last moments of your pet’s life in your mind or see your pet in your dreams. You may think you see them out of the corner of your eye or hear them in the next room. This is all common and part of the grieving process.
The relationship you shared with your pet was special. If people tell you that you should not be grieving for the loss of an animal, remember grief is normal and the relationship you shared needs to be mourned. There will be ups and downs in the process of grieving, so don’t be surprised if you start to feel better, and then feel as if a wave has hit you.
You will always love this very special member of your family, and over time, the feelings of sadness will become less difficult. Eventually, you’ll even talk about your pet and smile at the happy memories you have.
Check to see if there are pet loss support groups in your area if talking about your pet helps. Consider speaking to your doctor or a mental health professional if you continue to feel bad for more than a year after your beloved pet’s passing.
Honor Your Pet’s Memory
Sometimes it feels better to do something to honor your pet’s memory. Here are a few ideas:
- Make a donation to an animal sanctuary or shelter in your pet’s honor.
- Plant rosemary in your garden for remembrance or create a separate memorial garden.
- Put a light or hang windchimes outdoors so your pet can find his way home.
- Repurpose collars into key chains or glue one around a flowerpot; use food bowls as planters so you’ll think of your pet every time you use them.
- Have your favorite photo printed and enlarged or find an artist who can use it to make a painting of your pet.