Moving On and Coping
with the Loss of a Pet
For a lot of us, pets aren’t just animals who occupy a space in your home. They’re your companion. They’re your friend. They’re family. They’re a constant presence in all the good times and bad. Hence, it’s normal to feel intense pain and devastation when your beloved friend passes away. While some people may not understand why you’re sad over “just a pet,” you shouldn’t feel ashamed in grieving over your companion.
And that’s the first step of grieving: knowing it’s perfectly fine to cry over the loss of someone important in your life. Grief varies from person to person. It can depend on your age and your pet’s, the circumstances surrounding their death and the role they played in your life.
Here are a few ways to comfort yourself and others who have suffered this loss, and to be able to move on and smile amid the memories they bring.
8. Connect with your friends and loved ones
You don’t have to deal with grieving alone. Reach out to your friends and family for support. Hang out with them, have dinner, or simply just talk. Form a support group to help fight off depression and to help you stay positive.
7. Give yourself permission to grieve
Don’t ever let anyone tell you how you should and what you should feel. This is YOUR bond with your pet. YOUR bond and YOUR memories and YOUR love and no one else’s. Grieve and do not worry about what anyone else says. Give yourself the permission to grieve and not care about being judged. It’s fine to cry. It’s fine to feel regret. It’s fine to be angry. It’s also fine to remember all those happy milestones and random memories and smile. It’s fine to move on.
6. Create a memorial
Remember your pet. Create a memorial. It’s up to you how to do this. You can create a photo album, collect their favorite toys and so on. Just because they have passed away doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate their life. Always remember all the love and all the happy times you shared together in your heart.
5. Pay it forward
Their presence always managed to boost your mood. They helped reassure you and give you a role and meaning in life. Try paying it forward by volunteering at an animal shelter or at other charitable institutions. Doing good deeds can help combat the feeling of isolation and depression.