Anyone who has
allowed a pet to become a part of their life understands that a pet is
a member of your family. When you lose that pet, whether
unexpectedly or from old age, it does not change the fact that a hole
has been left in your life. You still need to take the time to
grieve your loss until someday, you feel able to celebrate your pet's
Unfortunately, many people do not understand your grief, and their lack
of understanding may cause them to inadvertently hurt you
further.They may do this by acting as though the pet never
existed and your grief is not real, or by making the suggestion that it
was just a dog, cat, ferret, or whatever and can be replaced.
If you've ever loved a pet, you know that they cannot "just be
replaced", much like a person cannot be replaced. I'd like
to offer some suggestions that may help you in your grieving process:
Do not try to
rush yourself through the grief process. Telling
yourself that it was just a pet and you shouldn't feel this way just
invalidates your feelings and makes you feel worse. Accept your
grief and understand that only time will heal you.
If you are not
comfortable doing so, do not rush to get rid of
everything that may remind you of your pet. Sometimes removing
everything that reminds us of the pet that has shared our life for
years just makes the emptiness seem larger.
others who understand how you feel. Many people
understand what you are feeling, and an ear and a box of tissues will
make you feel better.
If you don't
know anyone to talk to, look online. There are
forums for pet owners who have a pet waiting at the Rainbow
Make a picture
collage to celebrate your pet's life. You can
include pictures from every stage of your pet's life as a reminder of
the good times you've shared with your pet.
Write a letter
to your pet. Include all the things about your
pet that you loved and will miss.
Light a candle
to your pet. On our resources page, there is a
link to a website where you can light a "virtual candle" for
free. You may find comfort by doing this.
Buy a picture
pet urn or memory box. If you cremate your pet.
you can store the ashes in it. If you do not cremate your pet, or
if you scatter the ashes, you can store a favorite ball or leash inside
to create a memorial to your pet. It doesn't have to be expensive
to be attractive.
When you are
ready to bring another pet into your life, it may be
better to get a different breed. The new pet will never
replace the one that you lost. It will have it's own unique
personality and you will enjoy the bonding process more if you are not
comparing it to your previous pet.
you will see your pet again someday. If Heaven is
where there is no sorrow, your beloved pet will be there.