Pet Bereavement: Ways of Healing

Young woman and her German Shepherd dog lying in the grass, she is hugging and kissing him. Vintage style color.
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Losing a pet is one of the most challenging experiences a person can go through. In a study by YouGov, 88% of American pet owners say they treat their pets as family members. So, it’s only natural a pet’s loss can leave a gaping hole in a person’s life. While there is no one right way to cope with pet bereavement, there are certain things that can help the grieving process. Here are some tips on how to heal after losing a pet.

Acknowledge your feelings

Feeling a range of emotions is normal when you lose a pet. According to psychology, there are five stages of grief. These are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Each phase is a normal reaction to grief and loss. It’s essential to allow yourself to feel whatever emotions come up and to give yourself time to grieve. Ignoring your feelings will only make them harder to deal with later on.

Some people find writing about their pet or sharing memories helpful, while others prefer to grieve privately. There is no wrong way to grieve, so do whatever feels right for you. Whatever you do, what’s important is that you don’t bottle up your emotions.

And besides, there’s nothing wrong with crying over your pet. In fact, research has shown that crying can be beneficial for mental health. It can help release emotions, reduce stress, and boost mood. So, if you need a good cry, don’t hold back. Acknowledging your feelings is an essential step in the grieving process.

Talk to someone who understands

Sometimes, talking to someone who knows what you’re going through can be helpful. If you have friends or family members who are also grieving the loss of a pet, talk to them about your shared experience. This process can help normalize your emotions and make you feel less alone.

If you don’t have anyone in your life who understands what you’re going through, there are other options. For example, you could talk to a therapist or join a support group for pet loss. These types of resources can be beneficial in the grieving process.

Releasing your emotions and talking to someone who understands what you’re going through can help you begin healing after losing a pet. When you’re ready, consider reaching out for support.

Find a way to honor your pet’s memory

Of course, you wouldn’t want to forget your pet. After all, they were a big part of your life. And there’s nothing wrong if you want to keep their memory alive.

One way to do this is by creating a memorial for your pet. It could be as simple as making a collage of photos or planting a tree in their honor. Or, if you’re feeling creative, you could write a poem or song about your pet.

For many pet owners, keeping the remains of their pets is also a way to honor their memory. This process is called taxidermy. It involves preserving an animal’s body through various methods, such as freezing or tanning. If this is something you’re considering, many companies offer modern taxidermy services that can help you beautifully preserve your pet’s memory. This way, you can keep your pet’s memory alive in a way that feels right for you.

a senior woman and a young woman looking at a photo album

Take care of yourself

Grief can be taxing on your mind and body. It’s essential to take care of yourself during this difficult time. Make sure to get plenty of rest, eat a healthy diet, and exercise regularly. These activities will help improve your mood and energy levels. Also, try to avoid using alcohol and drugs to cope with your grief. These substances are known to make you feel worse in the long run.

Your pet wouldn’t want you to neglect your health, so take care of yourself. Eating right, exercising, and getting enough rest will help you feel better as you grieve. Sooner or later, you’ll start to feel better.

Give yourself time

The grieving process takes time. There is no set timeline for how long it should take. Everyone grieves in their way and at their own pace. So, don’t compare your grief to anyone else’s. And most importantly, don’t try to hurry the process along.

It can be tempting to try to move on as quickly as possible. But resist the urge to do so. Grief is a natural and necessary process. Rushing through it will only make it more complicated in the long run. So, give yourself the time and space you need to grieve. In time, the pain will lessen, and you’ll be able to remember your pet with fondness and love.

Losing a pet is never easy. But by following these tips, you can begin to heal. Remember, it’s okay to cry, open up to someone who understands, and take care of yourself. And most importantly, be patient. You don’t need to hurry the grieving process along. With enough time, you’ll be able to remember your pet fondly and move on.

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