Anyone who has shared their love with a special pet knows the overwhelming sense of loss and grief once that pet is no longer with you.
How do you cope?
That is where each person will differ. Some need to be alone and work out their grief in private ways. Others need to keep busy and surround themselves with tasks or people.
Still, others will not know what they need until they wake up each day.
There are no rules, no time constraints when working through the complicated emotions that surround the loss of a beloved pet. To many people, their pet is as, or in some cases, even more, important than human members of their family. With this loss, comes immeasurable grief. It is so very important to ensure you have a solid system in
place that will protect and nurture your soul until you feel you can start to move forward, out of the grief. That system can be a spouse, a best friend, another important pet, a family member or even a co-worker. If you feel you don’t have someone that truly understands, finding a grief counsellor or group is a good way to work through and share the burden.
Reach out — “grief shared is a grief halved.”
The only thing your beloved pet would want for you after having to say goodbye is to find whatever gives you comfort, help you heal, and allows you to remember them in a way that reflects their unconditional love and loyalty for you. Find that something. Breathe deep, reflect and find it. There may always be a void or a feeling of loss and pain, but time does heal and what remains should be amazing. Keep all your pictures, and videos close. Remember the joy. Look deeply into those eyes and remember the love they echoed. You were their person, their best friend, as they were yours.
Remember to be grateful, and know you will love again…but also know you will never, ever lose their heart.
In memory of Marshall, an incredibly special little dog that loved life and all his people. Gone but never forgotten.
Written by: Leanne Currie, RVT