Thursday, September 22, 2011

Loss of a Pet: 5 Things You Need to Know

Going through the loss of a pet can be devastating on so many levels. One of the ways we can help ourselves cope is to understand loss. Here are 5 simple things to know that can help you cope.

1. You are NOT crazy!

You are mourning. There is nothing wrong with sadness when you have a loss. You are normal! Not everyone understands the loss of a pet. And that can make you doubt your feelings. DON’T do that to yourself. For many of us, pets are like family. And losing a pet is like losing a beloved family member. Don’t cheat yourself into thinking your loss is anything less than it is.

2. People say stupid things

On a good day people say stupid things. But when you have lost at pet, it’s tougher to swallow all that stupidity. One of my favorite stupid statements? “You can always get another pet.” Ugh. But you know what? If I had a dollar for every stupid thing that ever came out of my mouth, I’d be loaded. People can have a hard time expressing themselves, especially with difficult issues. Loss is often a difficult issue for people to handle sensitively and losing a pet even more difficult for some. Maybe they just don’t understand or just don’t know how to respond. It’s part of being human. But it doesn’t mean you have to take all that stupidity lying down. Page down to the end of this article for ways to handle stupid comments.

3. The roller coaster.

Losing a pet is very similar to other losses and what happens when we have a loss is we experience a roller coaster of emotions. One minute everything is fine, another we might feel rage, depression, peace, resentment, etc. And so it goes, over and over. And it is normal. Accept the ride for what it is.

4. Triggers

Expect to have triggers. These include anything that can set us off. It can be a memory, a smell, something we see, even something someone says to us. The problem with triggers and loss is that they can be unpredictable. I remember once, being at work and suddenly I couldn’t stop crying. I had to close the blinds in my office. Thank God I had blinds. I was okay after a few minutes, but it hit me from out of the blue. Sometimes we are lucky and we know what they are, but mostly, not so much. It’s okay, its normal.

5. Temporary

The pain, the anger, the incredible sense of loss you are feeling is temporary. It may seem like it will never end, but it will not last forever and your pain will get better. There will come a time when you can remember your pet with joy, not agony. So, hang in there. Trust the process. It will get better.

Do you have a story or a tip that worked for you? Please share in the comments section. Thank you so very much and wishing you healing and peace.

Helpful reading:

Pet Loss: 3 Tips to Ease your Pain

Pet Loss: How to Handle the Stupid Things People Say

Pet Loss: 4 Things You Can Do To Help Yourself Survive

Loss of Pet Quotes

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