Having a pet pass away can feel like losing a family member. They may have shared happy and sad moments with you and shown you a lifetime of unconditional love. Moving forward without their companionship can engender feelings of heavy loss.
If you are struggling with the loss of a pet, here are some thoughts that may be of help:
- Talk to other pet owners—particularly those who have also lost pets. Having an empathetic ear to listen or a shoulder to cry on can provide comfort and solace.
- Get closure. There’s nothing wrong with giving your pet a proper burial if you see fit.
- Remember them. Memorializing your pet through visual arts, a scrapbook, a poem or a blog post can help you remember the good times and regain control when you may be feeling adrift.
- Embrace other pets. If you have other pets, hold them. Pets can sense your mood and can offer comfort to help you heal.
- Keep yourself busy. After the death of your pet, you will experience a void in your life. Try to fill that void with new hobbies or opportunities for self-improvement.
- Experts have said that people should eat healthy and full meals when depressed. Food produces happy enzymes in the body and can bring a little bit of satisfaction into a sad day.
- Go out with your friends and your family. Try to spend time with your loved ones so as to avoid spending time alone.
- Exercise. Physical activity produces revitalizing hormones in your body that may give you a lift.
- Grieve. There is no right or wrong amount of sadness to feel when a pet passes away. Allow yourself the chance to grieve fully rather than whisking your emotions aside or downplaying them.