Losing a pet is a devastating experience.
It is natural to feel overwhelmed with feelings of grief and intense sadness. Your pet was a beloved part of your family, and when they pass on, they leave behind a massive void in your life.
While there is nothing that can protect you from the pain of losing your precious pet, there are things that you can do to ease that pain and help their memory live on in your heart for the rest of your life.
The best thing you can do to ease your pain is to use one of the below seven ways to honor your pet’s memory and mourn your loss:
1. Allow Yourself to Feel
Feelings of sadness are entirely natural, and if you don’t allow yourself to feel those emotions, you will never heal.
Allow yourself to feel that pain and loss; it is a perfectly natural reaction after losing a pet. You’ll go through a rollercoaster of emotions over the next few weeks and months, and you will likely experience sadness, anger, and even guilt.
Do not push those feelings aside or bottle them up. Experience them and then let each one pass when you are ready.
2. Use Art to Express Your Pain
Many therapists recommend the healing and transforming power of art therapies, especially to people who have recently experienced loss.
Expressing your feelings in words is often extremely difficult, but drawing, painting, or making music is typically a more cathartic experience. Transforming your pain into something creative and beautiful can heal you like nothing else could.
The most important part is to externalize your pain and release that hurt.
3. Family Support
If you lost your family pet, it is not just your loss.
Your family is experiencing a profound loss, and the grief will be heartbreaking. Learn to lean on each other for support through these rough times. Your pet is flying with the angels now, but your pain is still real on Earth.
Working through this grief is one of the downsides of having a pet.
If you have young children, use this as an opportunity to teach them just how precious life is – and why they should never take a moment with a loved one for granted.
4. Loss of Pet Cards
Your friends will likely send you loss of pet cards – these should be kept and cherished.
Encourage your children to keep them all in a box, and to write down their favorite memories with their fur buddy. That way, when they are older and the pain is not fresh, you can all sit down together and relive the memories you wanted to keep.
The stress and emotional toll of losing a pet can deplete your energy and emotional levels.
You must take care of your physical and emotional needs during this tough time. Spend time with loved ones, remember to eat healthy meals, and shower or bathe every day to help you cope.
Go for a walk when you feel up to it and try as best as you can to maintain your daily routine.
6. Don’t Forget About Your Other Pets
Although they cannot express their grief in the same way that you do, you should not neglect your other pets during this difficult time. They too will be hurting, and they might even be confused.
Remember that animals don’t speak English, so they won’t automatically know what happened to their missing buddy. Allow them ample time to adjust to their new normal and shower them with affection while you are at it.
7. Celebrate Your Pet’s Life
When you are ready, celebrate your pet’s life – no doubt it was a life well lived.
Think about all the things that your pet taught you during your time with them. Frame your favorite photo of them, or get it converted into a painting. There are so many creative ways to remember your pet, you just need to choose the one that feels right for you and your family.
You must acknowledge your grief and work through it.
You had many wonderful years with them – how you lost them should not be the last thing you remember about them, nor should it be what you focus on for the rest of your life.
Everyone grieves differently, so choose to process your grief in whichever way feels comfortable to you. Give yourself time and space to mourn; it will get easier with time – even if it does not feel that way now.