Nothing can prepare you for the loss of a pet. After all, they will have been with you through so much, always by your side, making your day that little bit better when you needed them most.
Coming to terms with their death is an incredibly difficult thing to do, and it’s vital for you to grieve their passing properly, reminiscing about all the happy memories they brought to you. With this in mind, there are a number of things you can do to make this grieving process easier for yourself and your family.
Join us as we take you through some of the key things you should think about doing when dealing with the loss of your pet. From hosting a special ceremony to simply talking to other people, this list should help you identify ways to grieve for your pet effectively.
The best thing you can do when coming to terms with the loss of a pet is to find people who you can talk to about it. Whether it be a fellow family member you share fond memories with or a neighbour, it’s important to find somebody that will allow you to reminisce in your own way.
There is no pre-defined length of time for grief, after all. Everyone reacts to loss differently so take as long as you need and don’t be afraid to seek out help from a charity, pet loss counsellor, hotline or support group if you’re really struggling to come to terms with it.
- Don’t Feel Guilty.
As a pet owner, you often have to make a number of decisions in regards to the health and welfare of your pet. Pets can’t tell you how they’re feeling – it’s up to you as their owner, on the advice of your vet, to decide what’s best for them.
While many of us hope our pets will pass quietly in their sleep, life doesn’t always work out that way; sometimes it falls on you, as the owner, to make the heartbreaking decision to end their life via euthanasia.
As a result of this, it can be easy for owners to feel guilty for having to make that choice, but it’s important that you don’t. If your pet is in a lot of pain, you should instead see it as a privilege that you get the opportunity to end their suffering and allow them to sleep in peace.
- Host A Funeral.
Hosting a ceremony or a funeral can be a highly effective way of providing both you and your loved ones with closure. While it can be a deeply upsetting process to go through, funerals provide an opportunity for you to say goodbye to your pet properly, celebrating their life with stories you’ll always remember and cherish.
Whether you bury them somewhere that’s personal to you, scatter their ashes in their favourite spot, plant a tree in their honour, or release personalised lanterns into the sky, there are a number of ways to memorialise your pet in a way that’s truly unique to them and their life.
- Ask Questions.
Finding closure is vital when it comes to dealing with the loss of a pet. Therefore, if you have any lingering questions or doubts over how or why your pet died, make an appointment with your vet to discuss these at length, to help you come to terms with it.
Make sure you don’t leave yourself wondering for years and years to come. The only way you can truly move forward from the loss of your pet is by ensuring all your questions, what-ifs and doubts are answered in advance.
- Take Your Time.
As we’ve mentioned already, everybody grieves differently so it’s important to go at your own pace. You should never feel rushed to get over your sadness – you need to deal with your grief for as long as you need to.
If you have muddy footprints on the back window that you can’t bring yourself to clean up yet, that’s fine. Or, if you don’t feel ready to move their basket just yet, that’s fine as well. We all find comfort in different things, so only take action when you feel ready to in yourself.