The loss of a beloved pet and ways to cope.
You’ll miss them.
When you lose a pet, it's normal to feel sad. Sadness is part of the grieving process. You might not want to cry in front of other people, but it’s ok if you do. You may even find yourself crying while watching TV or listening to music that reminds you of your pet—that’s normal too!
Many people who have lost their most beloved companion animals say that they still sense their pets around them sometimes, as if they’re still there somehow, watching over them and looking out for them from beyond the grave. Some say they can even hear their pets talk or see them walking around like ghosts! It’s hard not to wonder if this is true—after all, we know so little about what happens after death!
Seek support in your community.
If you don't have anyone to talk to, you may want to seek out a support group. Support groups are available in many communities and online.
You can find local pet support groups by searching for "pet loss support groups" on Google or other search engines. Online communities are also available; one of the largest is the Pet Loss Support Facebook group. You can join this group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/PetLossSupport/.
Once you've found a supportive community, it's important that you attend meetings regularly so that your friends know what's going on with you and can help cheer you up when necessary!
Be honest about your feelings. Don't beat yourself up for feeling sad, that's only natural. If you're having trouble getting through the day without crying, think of other ways to cope besides crying—like writing in a journal or playing a sport or listening to music. The point is to distract yourself from grief and focus on something else for a while.
Be open about your feelings. If you're easily overwhelmed by emotions, it might be hard for others to understand what you're going through if they don't know how much this pet meant to you or how much losing them has affected your life (and vice versa). Try being honest with those around you so that others can better understand how they can help support you during this difficult time.
Take up a project in remembrance of your pet.
There are so many ways to remember your pet and take up a project in his or her memory.
Here are some ideas:
Create a photo album. Photos will be wonderful reminders of that special time you spent with your pet, and it can be fun to look back at them often.
Create a scrapbook. Scrapbooks can consist of photos, letters from loved ones, newspaper clippings about your pet's life or death, poems written by friends or family members who knew him/her well (or even by yourself), etc., all organized nicely into one document that helps give form to how important he/she was in your life.
Create a collage. A collage is basically just putting together multiple items into something new—and people tend to find this type of art particularly touching because it's created out of existing objects rather than being completely original artwork made out of nothing but paintbrushes and canvas (though these types of things have their own merits). If making something entirely new isn't where your heart is at right now (or if you're not very artistic), consider assembling an "art piece" out of old items that belonged to the deceased pet: pictures cut out from magazines; drawings drawn by children; cards received during holidays; tickets stubs from someplace special they wanted us all to visit someday...the possibilities are endless!
Invite others to remember your pet with you.
You can also invite others to remember your pet with you. You could hold a memorial service, or share stories about your pet at a gathering. If you don't want to do either of those things, but still want people to be able to pay their respects, gather around a photo or other memento of your pet and share memories together. These moments should be as casual or formal as feels right for the occasion—or simply as private or public as you like!
If you have no physical memento of your deceased pet (and even if you do), consider sharing an online photo album in lieu of hosting an actual event. This way friends and family who weren't able make it out can still participate in honoring the life that was lived and learned from by all those present on this sad day."
Create a memorial for your pet.
If you've just lost a pet, the loss can be overwhelming and painful. And if you're like many people who mourn their pets after they pass away, it's likely that your loved one was an important part of your life. If your pet was old or sick, you may have expected the death to arrive at some point. But even in those cases, there are still things that can help ease the pain:
To start with, try creating a scrapbook of pictures and memories from when you first got your pet (or when they were young). You'll also want to write down stories about funny experiences with them. It doesn't matter how silly or serious these stories are—the point is that getting them down on paper will help keep their memory alive for years after they've gone. Also consider planting a tree or plant in honor of them—even if it's small enough for children to enjoy! Or do something else creative by making an urn or other memorial item out of materials like clay or wood. Lastly—and most importantly—consider donating some money in their name (or anonymously) so that other animals can benefit from it!
Never be afraid to talk about them.
Talking about your pet is important because it’s a way to process your grief, which can help you move forward. If you don’t have anyone in your life who understands what you are going through, reach out to someone who does understand. There are plenty of pet bereavement groups online and offline that will be willing to listen and provide support. It might seem like an odd subject at first, but talking about it will help clear your mind and make the situation easier for everyone involved.
Cherish the memories; they're all you have left of your pet's life
The hardest part of losing a pet is the fact that there are no more memories to make. Your love for your pet will never fade, but as time goes on, you’ll have fewer and fewer ways to keep the memory alive in your own mind.
To help with this pain, consider doing one or more of these things:
Make a scrapbook of everything from birthdays to favorite toys and games. Include things like birthday cards from friends and family members, presents received on special occasions such as Christmas or Easter (if you celebrate those holidays), photos from every stage of life until death—even stories about funny incidents or lessons learned along the way! This can be fun for both kids and adults alike; children especially will love getting involved in creating something so personal for their animal friend!
Create a video montage highlighting all the good times had together with your beloved pet over its lifetime. Even better if there's some music playing while they're running around playing fetch together—it'll remind everyone how much fun it is when two people are best friends!