While it’s not intentional, we sometimes minimize the feelings of loss when our pets pass on. We say things like, “Remember the good times,” and “Things will get better.” While the condolences we offer are well-meant and often true, they may sometimes make owners feel like their pain is greater than it should be, or not legitimate.
Grief over the loss of a pet is real grief. We make our pets part of the family. They are true to us in ways that, arguably, humans aren’t. They are loyal, sometimes to a fault when they’re mistreated and can still trust humans. Some say we don’t deserve them.
So, if you lose a pet and feel emotional pain, you’re not alone and your pain is valid. Coping with this grief takes time and patience, just like coping with any other significant loss.
Let it Out
Don’t be ashamed to talk about your feelings or cry. It’s common knowledge that holding emotions in can cause more damage overall. Sometimes talking to loved ones is enough; if you have people in your life who will listen, then talk. If your feelings are particularly strong and you don’t feel comfortable going to others, then seek out a third party. You can go online to find others who will listen; there are groups on social media and other forums who know your feelings and you can share with them. You might also find groups locally for in-person discussions (while maintaining caution during COVID). Giving your feelings a voice is potentially an important part of healing.
Did you get a chance to say goodbye to your pet? Some find that having a funeral or celebration of your pet’s life is very helpful. You can invite loved ones and all discuss the joys of your pet’s life, and perhaps everyone can join in with the joys of owning pets in general. You may find your spirits lifted and be on the path to healing.
If you want to memorialize your pet, you’re not alone. There are services for those who want to keep their pet with them in some way as a reminder of their companionship. Treasured Paws in Houston, Texas offer cremation services for pet owners. They understand the importance of the animals in our lives and provide kindness and sympathy in addition to taking care of your pet after death, as well as offering urns and paw prints to commemorate your pet’s life.
We love your pets, too, and want to be part of your pet’s life at all stages. Come to us as Pet Vet Hospitals to maintain your pet’s health for a long life.