Pet’s are Family, no doubt about it. I see broken hearted posts about people losing their animals and I know how it feels. When our Pets pass it lives such an empty void that life changes rather quickly. Sometimes you know its coming, like I do right now and sometimes the unexpected happens. My Lab is on special meds to help her arthritis. It’s really just a band aid for now. She’s 15. I keep asking myself what do you expect? Honestly. I expect forever. Realistically, nothing is forever but love.
She will go one day and I will sob with a shattered heart. I am uncontrollable during my grieving. I hate when people say; “It’s only an animal”. Not to me. From experience in doing Mediumship sessions, I have felt animals around other Family members that have passed. It’s comforting. It shows me that animals most definitely have a place in the after-life. It doesn’t take away the pain but gives me hope.
I’ve seen where people post they wish there were visiting hours for the Rainbow Bridge. I wouldn’t want to leave.
Sorrow and grief are normal and natural responses to death. Like grief for humans, grief for animal companions can only be dealt with over time, but there are healthy ways to cope with the pain. Here are some suggestions:
- Don’t let anyone tell you how to feel, and don’t tell yourself how to feel either. Your grief is your own, and no one else can tell you when it’s time to “move on” or “get over it.” Let yourself feel whatever you feel without embarrassment or judgment. It’s okay to be angry, to cry or not to cry. It’s also okay to laugh, to find moments of joy, and to let go when you’re ready.
- Reach out to others who have lost pets. Check out online message boards, pet loss hotlines, and pet loss support groups—see Resources section below for details. If your own friends, family members, therapist, or clergy do not work well with the grief of pet loss, find someone who does—a person who has also lost a beloved pet may better understand what you’re going through.
- Seek professional help if you need it. If your grief is persistent and interferes with your ability to function, your doctor or a mental health professional can evaluate you for depression.
- Rituals can help healing. A funeral can help you and your family members openly express your feelings. Ignore people who think it’s inappropriate to hold a funeral for a pet, and do what feels right for you.
- Create a legacy. Preparing a memorial, planting a tree in memory of your pet, compiling aphoto album or scrapbook, or otherwise sharing the memories you enjoyed with your pet, can create a legacy to celebrate the life of your animal companion. Remembering the fun and love you shared with your pet can help you to eventually move on. I find donating and honoring my pets that way to help other animals feels right.
- Look after yourself. The stress of losing a pet can quickly deplete your energy and emotional reserves. Looking after your physical and emotional needs will help you get through this difficult time. Eat a healthy diet, get plenty of sleep, and exercise regularly to release endorphins and help boost your mood.
- If you have other pets, try to maintain your normal routine. Surviving pets can also experience loss when a pet dies, or they may become distressed by your sorrow. Maintaining their daily routines, or even increasing exercise and play times, will not only benefit the surviving pets but may also help to elevate your outlook too.
- Don’t run out the door to get a new Pet just yet. Nothing will nor can replace your loss, so wait. There will come a time when you will feel right about adopting another Pet or perhaps one will just come to you.
- Be in the moment! Allow whatever feelings you have to be felt. If not you will hinder a natural process of grief. Grieving is normal. Let’s face it we tell our Pets everything. They are our Furdren and Best Friends. Expect there to be a huge void. It’s all natural but terribly painful. It’s horrifying no matter which way they pass. I’ve had to put two Shepherds out of misery within a 6 week period. One had Congestive Heart Failure the other had such horrible hip issues he could no longer hold his bowels nor really walk. It killed me because he ate and was happy. I still beat myself up over this.
- Your’e not crazy. This is a very touchy subject. But, you’re not crazy. I personally love and trust animals more then people. So, cut yourself some slack and truthfully who cares? You know your bond.
- Much Love, Michelle