Coping With The Loss Of a Pet
Most of us share a bond with our pets that can be as strong as a bond with a family member. Therefore the loss of a pet, can also feel like the loss of a family member. It’s not unusual to feel overwhelmed by grief and sadness. Learning healthy ways to cope with your loss is the best way to heal. Here are some ways to take care of yourself, your family, and your other pets when a beloved pet dies.
The grieving process can’t be forced or hurried, and there is no “average” time that it would last. Some people need a few months, and some people need years before they can move on. Whichever intensity you’re experiencing, be sure to be patient with yourself and allow yourself to heal naturally. Losing your pet is one thing, but the secondary effects that come from the loss of companionship, comfort, and a constant positive presence can only be understood by someone that's been through it.
Communicating with others who have lost pets is one way to cope. You can use support groups or your own family and friends. Having someone there who understands what you’re going through can be a huge help. Another way to help you and your family cope, is a 'pet funeral'. This is really just about having an open and comfortable space where you can express your feelings about this pet, and this loss.
The loss of a pet can make you forget about taking care of yourself. Spending time around people who care about you, eating regularly, adequate sleeping, and exercise can all help boost your mood. If you have multiple pets in your house, keeping up with your normal routines will help everyone cope the easiest.
Pets experience pet loss as well, or they may feel stressed by your stress. Regular routines will not only allow you to continue life as usual, but also elevates your mood when you recognize your progress with being able to move on.
If your emotions are interfering with your way of life, seeking professional help may be the right thing to do. Doctors provide great support and can give you more ways to get through this difficult time.