When a beloved pet dies, some people simply accept the pet loss, as a regular part of life. People that have strong feelings for their pets are deeply affected by their grief. In taking responsibility for owning a pet, we accept the burden of every aspect for that pets life.As a pet grows from a baby to adult, that pets responsibility and affection becomes a way of life to us. This mutual bonding becomes an exchange of need and fulfillment between owner and pet. It's ironic that we become dependent on our pets as well. We rely on their needing us.
When a pet eventually dies, as we all must, we are never prepared emotionally, from our pet loss. We first get an extreme case of separation anxiety. Our routine and patterns are disrupted abruptly by the loss of our pets. Understanding the phases of grief and mourning that other people have gone through, can help us through our loss and bereavement. Often the way we react depends upon the circumstances of how our love ones pass, and how attached we were to them.
Shock and Disbelief
This usually is the first stage. Weather the pets death was sudden or expected. It doesn't seem real. We have trouble accepting the truth, and are not equipped to handle the reality of the pet loss. We all experience this to some degree.
When the numbness wears off, we are often overwhelmed by anger. This emotion must be released and let go. Withheld anger can become a potent force in self destructiveness. It is common to feel anger when something we love is taken away from us.
Depression and Grief
We feel overwhelmed and very sad at the loss of our love one. All we seem to care about is the loss of our pet,and our own misery. Appetite loss, and difficulty to sleep are signs of this emotion. Depression is the most normal of the stages to our pets death. We need some time And privacy to recover through our depression and grief.
Give Yourself Time
The length of time to recover varies with each individual. Some need more time and support than others. We have to give time for release of grief without diminishing the memory of our pet. We never lose a sense of bereavement for a pet. But we do learn to be less and less overwhelmed by their death.
No matter what method you choose, a Pet Memorial, or Garden Memorial etc... You should offer a simple eulogy to help closure to the event. It's a chance to be involved with the final experience with your pet. And to realize your loss and express feeling about it. It will give you a chance to say, "You are gone, but not forgotten"
Your relationship with your pet is very special. Keep them in your heart and they will never be forgotten.