Grief is a complicated emotion and the process can and is different for everyone. Each grief can also be very different to a previous grief. The journey for each bereavement is as unique as each cat.
Circle of Life
You might find that you are able to accept the loss quickly and do not need any support. This does NOT mean that you did not love your cat pet deeply and miss them hugely. Perhaps you are just be able to come to terms with the circle of life, you love your cat and now they have gone.
However you may be absolutely devastated and need help and support to get through this painful journey despite feeling okay about a previous cat death. Our ability to deal with grief varies on a huge number of different factors. It does NOT mean that you are weak or incapable. It does mean that you could benefit from support and that this particular journey may take a little longer. And that is okay.
Suppressing your feelings
You may find that you are ‘coping well’ and that nobody is aware of how you are feeling inside. It is important to recognise that you may be suppressing feelings and that they might pop back up at a later date. This is also very common and you might be putting these feelings aside until you are ready to deal with them.
Sometimes you might have experienced deep feelings of loss when you were aware that your pet’s life was nearing it’s end and that you had dealt with the grief. It can then be a huge shock when your pet actually dies and these feelings re-emerge. Again this is normal and you are not alone in feeling this.
You may experience grief when you have been working with as a pet career and you have been forced to separate either for your career or theirs. This can also happen when you divorce or separate from a partner and you no longer have access to your pet.
You might be distraught even after you come to terms with the loss.
Stages of Grief
There is no right or wrong way to grieve, each grief will follow it’s own unique pattern and will differ according to our state of mind, our previous experience of grief and ultimately our relationship with our pet.
The experts suggest that there are stages of grief:
- Shock and denial
You may find that you naturally flow through these stages or that you jump around many of them at once and that some stages are repeated, as it happens for some people.
Go for a walk
If you can manage it a walk straight after breakfast will also help to start pumping round the endorphins which will combat anxiety and negative stress. Are you missing a walk if that was something you did regularly with your pet? You the Ramblers Association has a great search tool for finding good walks. You can walk them alone or with a willing friend or you can join as a member and walk as a group.
I found this exercise on the NHS website and it really helped me when I felt a bit overwhelmed:
This calming breathing technique for stress, anxiety and panic takes just a few minutes and can be done anywhere.
You will get the most benefit if you do it regularly, as part of your daily routine.
You can do it standing up, sitting in a chair that supports your back, or lying on a bed or yoga mat on the floor.
- Make yourself as comfortable as you can. If you can, loosen any clothes that restrict your breathing.
- If you’re lying down, place your arms a little bit away from your sides, with the palms up. Let your legs be straight, or bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor.
- If you’re sitting, place your arms on the chair arms.
- If you’re sitting or standing, place both feet flat on the ground. Whatever position you’re in, place your feet roughly hip-width apart.
- Let your breath flow as deep down into your belly as is comfortable, without forcing it.
- Try breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.
- Breathe in gently and regularly. Some people find it helpful to count steadily from 1 to 5. You may not be able to reach 5 at first.
- Then, without pausing or holding your breath, let it flow out gently, counting from 1 to 5 again, if you find this helpful.
Keep doing this for 3 to 5 minutes.
And remember it won’t always feel like this.
For some people it can also help to create a pet memorial. This could be a collection of your favourite photos in nice frames, a replica statue of your cat that could even hold their ashes! Or something much more personal such as a piece of Everence jewellery. Like the one, we created with the hair of Mr. Oliver.
While this might not work for everyone we do think that creating a unique piece of jewellery or even a tatto with the help of Everence it enables us to remember our pets forever and to always carry them with us.
Through the Everence Collection kit you are able to create the Everence for a special piece of jewellery or the additive for a tattoo. For this Everence needs Hair, a cheek swab or the ashes of your pet to create the so-called Everence that will be used for your product.
To find out more about Everence click here. And if you use the code KATZENWORLD you will get 10% off any order placed with Everence.