How To Cope With The Loss Of A Pet
This guide on how to cope with the loss of a pet is written for anyone who has recently lost their little buddy around the house. Whether putting your pet to sleep after a long series of medical problems or dealing with a sudden and unexpected accident, the loss of a pet can be devastating. We form special relationships with our pets—for some of us, a pet is the only roommate we presently have. Though it will take time, these steps will help you cope with the loss of your pet.
- Acknowledge and accept your grief. Don't be ashamed or embarrassed about being sad. It can be hard to comfortably express such an intense emotion as grief. Bottling up your misery, however, will only indefinitely draw out the grieving process.
Reach out to friends and family. Your pet was one of your best friends, and you don't need to be a hard-ass about admitting it. Find those in whom you are most comfortable confiding, and they will give you their attention. There's a difference between communicating with someone about your grief and begging for sympathy, so don't automatically assume that you're guilty of the latter simply because you want someone to talk to.
- if you enjoy writing, record what you're going through in a journal. Writing about grief can be very therapeutic for the right person. It's not always a solution, however, so don't let it pile any more stress onto you. Keep in mind that this writing can be absolutely personal and does not ever have to be shared with anyone.
- Find a local pet loss support group. Typically, these groups can be found through your local animal shelters. While it's nice to have friends that can lend you an ear, it can be especially helpful to talk through your grief with others who are going through the same emotions.
- Don't immediately seek out a "replacement." If you try to stack a new pet against your former friend, you will only disappoint yourself and pine for a relationship you can no longer have. Avoid look-alikes and similar nicknames. Remember that your new pet will be just that: a new pet. A new adoption should be an exciting moment, exemplary of the fact that you are moving on—although this does not at all mean that you have forgotten the good times with your former buddy.