How to Deal with the Loss of a Family Pet
A dear friend of mine had to say goodbye to her sweet Daisey yesterday and my heart goes out to her. Some may not understand, but when you have this furry family member in your life longer than half of your friends or even your husband, it’s a loss that is immeasurable. So, I thought that I would research it and see if there is anything I could find to help, if only a little. This is dedicated to Debi.
- The Pain: Don’t let anyone tell you that you are oversensitive, losing a furry family member is devastating. Some people will be insensitive, saying it was only a pet, you know better, cry, mourn and get lost in the sadness for a moment. She/he gave you so much joy and love through the years, it’s okay to be sad. How you feel is all that matters.
- Denial, Anger and Depression are all normal emotions. It’s hard to imagine not being greeted by them anymore, holding them in your lap while you watch movies and eat popcorn or even tripping over them in the kitchen while you make dinner. You are NORMAL.
- You have the right to grieve, don’t discredit your feeling’s, they’re yours and you own them, no one can take that from you. Cry and scream if you want, it’s okay and if anyone around you doesn’t get it, that’s there loss for not knowing the kind of love you got to experience with your furry family member.
- Talk about your loss… the happiness you shared with them and if you can’t find someone to listen, contact your vet, if no one else, they get it and will be there for you.
- Surviving pets will feel the loss too and may need extra attention. Don’t be surprised if they act out in behavioral ways that aren’t normal for them. They hurt too and don’t understand, even more so than you, they don’t get why the furry family member is gone. This can also hold true for small children.
- A true pet lover knows this, but no, it is not a good idea to get another pet right away. You need time to bathe in your loss, you’ll know if and when the time is right. And, no, it isn’t replacing them, it’s honoring them by sharing the love you gave them for so long to someone knew that may need you too. Adoption is a great idea when you are ready.