Emotional Wellbeing

Mental Health

Mandy Kloppers

4 Ways to Cope After Losing your Pet

When you lose a loved one, people congregate to your place to show support and be there for you. Unfortunately, you won’t get that support when your beloved pet dies. For a pet owner, your pet is not just an animal. It’s your best friend, your confidant, and your emotional support. Though it may look abnormal to mourn for an animal, the pain can be unbearable most of the time. If you’ve lost a furry friend, these tips will help you cope and get through it in one piece.

  1. Allow yourself to go through the process

The grieving process is long and hard. You will go through heart-wrenching emotions and sometimes cry yourself to sleep. Many people will tell you to get over it or get another pet, but you know it won’t work. Burying yourself in work, drinking, and avoiding the feelings will not work either. The safest route is to go through each stage until you come out the other way in less pain.

  1. Pay tribute to your pet

Just like losing a loved one, you need to celebrate the life of your pet with a ritual or two. For most people, a funeral or memorial service becomes a way to say goodbye and accept that their pets are gone. Dog statues for your yard are a great way to pay tribute and remind you of your friend. Your pet held a special place in your heart, so every time you see the statue, you will remember the good times you had with your best bud. After the funeral, order a dog statue and find a special place for it, either your pet’s or your favorite spot to give it the attention and meaning it deserves.

  1. Lean on others

If you will go through the anger, guilt, and all the agonizing stages of grief, you will need somebody to hold you down. Leaning on somebody who understands what you are going through will help you to release all the feelings. If you don’t have friends who have lost a pet, consider seeing a grief therapist or calling the pet loss hotline. You can also look for pet loss forums near you and become part of a support group.

  1. Take care of yourself

When you are not angry or feeling guilty, you will feel intense pain and sadness. Depression is a stage in the grieving process, but it can be avoided or at least worked through. Taking care of yourself will ensure you don’t fall so deep into depression that you can’t come out of it. You must make a deliberate effort to eat right, treat yourself to nice things, work out, and sleep.

The grief you feel after losing your pet is as real as that of losing somebody you love. Do not allow other people to downplay it or feel stupid for mourning an animal. Since grief is an active process, you have to work through it with the help of other people and let time take care of the rest.

Mandy X

Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash