Pet loss: 3 steps for coping with the death of a pet

Marianne Soucy
Marianne Soucy is the founder of HealingPetLoss.com where she provides information, support, comfort, techniques, and inspiration for pet owners who are grieving the loss of a beloved pet. Marianne is the author of the book, "Healing Pet Loss - 10 Tips For Coping With The Loss Of A Pet", and creator of the meditations, "Inner Peace Meditation" and "Happy Memories After Pet Loss".
Marianne Soucy
Marianne Soucy

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Marianne Soucy
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Healing Pet Loss Quote - Kahlil Gibran

Pet loss is one of the most difficult things you can experience as the caretaker of an animal companion. The grief after the loss of a pet can be overwhelming, and you might be surprised how deeply you are grieving after losing your animal companion and faithful friend. Because the love you shared with your pet was so deep and the bond between you was so strong, then the grief following the loss of your pet will also be deep.

The emptiness and the pain of the loss can be hard to deal with, and you might find yourself crying a lot. And you might find it difficult to sleep at night, because you lie awake feeling the enormous hole that the death of your pet left you with, and you worry about whether you could have done anything differently. You might feel overwhelming guilt and be convinced that you have let your pet down. And if you are not so lucky as to have supportive and understanding people around you, then you can feel very alone in your grief and sorrow.

In the following I will share 3 steps that will start you on your path to healing after the death of your beloved pet.

Step #1: Acknowledging your grief after pet loss

Grieving is a process that we all go through when we lose someone we love. But how we experience grief, and how we handle it, is very individual. Therefore, it is important that you honor and acknowledge whatever you are feeling right now. Grief is a very powerful emotion, so the first thing you need to do is to allow yourself to grieve. Try not to resist the feelings of sorrow, sadness, and all the other feelings connected with the loss of a loved one,

when they come. Allow the feelings of grief and sorrow to be there and cry if you need to.

Meditation, such as the Inner Peace Meditation from the Healing Pet Loss Meditation Series, deep relaxation or listening to soothing music are just some of the tools you can use to deal with the feelings of grief after the loss of an animal companion.

Step #2: Create a pet memorial ceremony

Creating your own memorial ceremony after pet loss can be very healing. In a pet memorial ceremony you have a chance to say goodbye to your pet and an opportunity to express your love for your pet and the gratitude for all the joy that your pet brought into your life. When you create your own pet memorial ceremony, you can involve the whole family, so that every one will be a part of honoring the memory of a close friend and member of the family. If there are children in the family, for them to take an active part in creating a memorial ceremony for their pet can be very healing. A pet memorial ceremony is a good place for all those who loved the pet to share letters or poems they have written to or in honor of the pet.

Step #3 Reach out!

If you feel alone with your grief after pet loss, reaching out to others can bring you much comfort. There are many resources available to you so that you can get comfort and peace of mind after the loss of your beloved pet. You can look for supportive and like-minded people for instance

  • in the area where you live,
  • on the internet, such as online forums, pet loss support groups, specialized pet loss websites, or even on Pinterest.
  • and you can also work one-on-one with someone who is willing to be there for you and who understands what you are going through and can help you through your grief.

What is your biggest challenge in connection with pet loss? Please share in the comments below. 

Comments

  1. Losing a pet is very hard i had a scare with our dog. They vet said she wasn\’t going to make it. This end up not being the case but i made me realize hoe hard it will be to lose my dog some day.

    I dread the thought
    Peaches recently posted…Importance of Deworming Puppies and DogsMy Profile

  2. Getting a new pet can be a way to cope but it has its downsides as well
    Peaches recently posted…American Golden Retriever vs English Creme Golden RetrieverMy Profile

  3. For those who never had a pet, the grief may seem illogical but when we imagine the years they spent living together, we’ll know that it is like losing a beloved friend. I have seen someone who ailed and cried her heart out at the death of her 11 year old pet. The grief was truly heart wrenching. Reading your article reminded me of that period in her life.
    Ismail N recently posted…Of Cats and Kittens: Feral, Stray and Pet CatsMy Profile

  4. Thanks for bringing a Sensational topic. Loosing a pet,the one you care like a family member is really very hard and sad.very nice to rear the whole article.
    Mahendra recently posted…Upcoming movies of Aamir Khan 2013-2014My Profile

  5. This is really a good post for coping with the death of a pet. Thanks for sharing this post.
    Prakash recently posted…Candy Crush Saga for PC, Candy Crush Saga for Windows 7/8/MACMy Profile

  6. Its strange. I cried more over losing a dog than i did over some loved ones who died. I think it has something to do wiht having a more pure relationship with your dog. A dog never talks back to you or gets in a abig fight with you, It make this human dog relationship unique
    Peaches recently posted…Importance of Deworming Puppies and DogsMy Profile

  7. Often times people will buy a new pet in order to replace that missing piece in their home of there old pet this may not be the best idea. No pet can truely replace an older pet that has died.
    Peaches recently posted…Importance of Deworming Puppies and DogsMy Profile

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