Rocky’s Viewpoint

Rockys Viewpoint

A blog for people who treat their dogs better than family

Losing a Beloved Pet

The death of a loved family member is never easy. It’s something I’m going through right now so I’m reminded of how difficult it truly is. For many people, a pet is more than just a pet, they are beloved members of our family too, so it’s also natural to feel devastated by the feelings of loss when they die.

Grieving is a very personal experience. No one can really understand how another person grieves.  It’s something that we must go through, and it’s something that can’t be forced or hurried along. You need to grieve in your own way, in your own timetable, allowing the process to unfold naturally. You can’t let someone else dictate the process.

It’s also something that can’t be ignored. Ignoring the pain will only make it worse in the long run. For real healing to occur, you must face your grief and deal with it. One great way I dealt with the loss of my beloved Rocky was to write a journal about my feelings over his loss. Today 5 years later, I have a wonderful record of the raw emotions I was feeling at the time. Others choose to talk about their loss, another great way to deal with the pain. Do what works best for you.

Here are just a few tips for coping with the grief of the loss of a pet.

  • Reach out to others who have lost pets through means such as online sites, support groups, etc.
  • Have a ceremony to either celebrate the pet’s life or a funeral to note the loss. This gives you the opportunity to express your feelings openly.
  • Prepare a memorial. Create a video, a photo album, plant a tree in memory of your pet – these are just a few ideas for creating a legacy of your pet.
  • Take care of yourself physically and emotionally. Recognize you are under tremendous stress. Try to eat healthy, exercise and get plenty of sleep.
  • If you have other pets in the household, spend extra time with them. They are also grieving and need you during this time.
  • If you have children, allow them to see your grief. Allow them to express their feelings and be part of any memorials, celebrations, etc.
  • Don’t rush out and get a “replacement!” You and your family need to go through the grieving process. A new pet immediately can’t stop that process.

Whatever you do, don’t let anyone else tell you how to feel. The process is yours alone. We wish you the best as you go through it.

Category: Relationships