A pet is a family member because animals and humans share a deep bond. When a pet dies, it often causes deep sorrow for the owners and family members. The first and most important step to coping with this grief is to admit that it is alright to feel sad. Replacing your pet soon after she/he that has died with another may not make you feel any better. This is because it could cause you to remain in denial over your loss for a longer period. You may find yourself comparing the two pets and their personality without seeing the new pet as a separate individual, unlike your lost pet. Therefore, it is very important for you to allow yourself to mourn.
Mourning alone sometimes may not be easy to do so not feel ashamed of reaching out to others to help you through this journey. This will help you in bringing out the painful emotions that you are experiencing. Talk about your memories with your best friends and family members. Let everyone who shared the bond with your pet express themselves too. Whichever emotion these memories cause, let them out. If they cause you to smile, then smile. If they cause you sadness and you feel like crying, then cry. Do not feel embarrassed because all these feelings are normal and okay.
Do not ignore the feelings of one family member over another. In this case, I mean, attending to your children’s pain and ignoring your own or any other adult in the family. Although the relationship between your pet and each member of the family was different, the death has caused an amount of pain in all of them. Thus, every member of your family should be given as much help in coping with the pain as possible. A funeral or memorial for your pet may also help you and your family to get closure. Writing notes down to read out or recite during the service is often good. The notes may include how you felt about your pet, how his/her death makes you feel or anything else that comes to your mind when you think about her/him. Putting your thoughts on paper reduces the pressure that is inside you. It also helps you face your innermost emotions. Remember it is a tribute to a friend and a companion.
The word therapy may sound big but it is simply a way that aids healing. If you do the above and you still feel deep overbearing pain, then reach out to a professional grief counselor. Sharing this sad experience with others outside your family who are also going through the same kind of loss, may make the journey easier to take. Still, getting someone to hold your hand and walking you through the grief step by step is a great therapeutic route to healing. Do not afraid to seek pet bereavement counseling. Allow someone else to help you through very difficult time.
As soon as you are able to cope with the pain of losing your friend, you will be able to revisit the memories with joy. You will be able to say, “I am glad that we had you in our lives even if it was just for a little while.”
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