, June 25, 2024

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How To Cope with Pet Loss and Find Closure


  •   4 min reads
How To Cope with Pet Loss and Find Closure
by Rowena David

Coping with the death of a beloved pet can be an emotionally challenging time, and it’s important to understand the grieving process and take steps to care for ourselves during this difficult time.

Here are 10 tips for coping with pet loss:

Allow yourself to grieve. It’s important that you allow yourself to mourn at your own phase. The loss of a pet is a significant event, and it’s important to give yourself permission to grieve. Everyone processes grief differently, so don’t feel like you have to follow any specific timeline or set of expectations. Take the time you need to process your emotions and come to terms with your loss.

Their paw prints will forever be imprinted in our hearts. (Photo by Charlene Lacanares-Arevalo.)

Take care of yourself. Taking care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally is crucial during this time. Make sure you are getting enough sleep, eating nutritious foods, and engaging in activities that bring you joy and relaxation.

Seek support. Don’t hesitate to reach out to friends, family members, or support groups to help you cope with your loss. Seeking support from family and friends after the loss of a pet can be a crucial step in the healing process. While grief is a unique experience, it is also universal, and sharing your emotions with others can help you move forward in a positive way.

Know that healing takes time. Grieving the loss of a pet is a lengthy process. It is important to be patient with yourself and recognize that healing will take time. With time, you’ll be able to look back on your pet’s memories with fondness and joy.

Don’t rush into getting another pet. Permit yourself time to grieve and process your feelings. The death of a pet can be a traumatic experience, and it is natural to experience sadness, guilt, anger, and a variety of other emotions. Getting a new pet right away can be a way to avoid these feelings, but it’s important to give yourself the time and space to work through them. This will help ensure that you are emotionally prepared to care for a new pet and provide it with the love and attention it deserves.

Panda was a campus cat who died due to a stomach tumor. (Photo by the author.)

Don’t blame yourself. It’s common for pet owners to feel guilty or responsible for their pet’s death, even if they couldn’t have prevented it. Remember that accidents and illness can happen to any pet and that what truly matters is your love and care for your pet throughout their life.

Consider seeking professional help. The loss of a beloved pet can be a traumatic and emotional experience. Many people find themselves overwhelmed with grief and struggling to cope with the loss. While friends and family can provide some support, there are times when seeking professional help is necessary to properly navigate the grieving process. Additionally, a professional can help you identify any underlying mental health concerns that may be aggravating your grief. The death of a pet can trigger feelings of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues, and it’s important to address these concerns as part of the grieving process.

Remember that everyone grieves differently. Every person experiences grief differently, and every pet owner experiences pet loss differently. Allow no one to tell you how you should or should not feel, or how long you should grieve. You know yourself and your relationship with your pet better than anyone else, and it’s important to respect your own grieving process.

Memorialize your pet. Memorializing your pet can help you to process your grief and express your emotions. It can provide an opportunity to reflect on the happy memories you shared with your pet and acknowledge the impact they had on your life. This can be therapeutic and help you to find closure in the grieving process.

Sasha was a rescued dog who got hit by a motorbike. (Photo by the author.)

Honor your pet’s memory. Finally, remember that your pet’s memory will live on in your heart forever, and there are numerous ways to honor that memory. Consider making a donation in their honor to a pet charity, volunteering at a local animal shelter, or making a special keepsake in their honor. Whatever you decide, make it a fitting tribute to the love and joy your pet brought into your life.

Losing a pet can be a very difficult and emotional experience, but it is possible to heal and move on with time and support. You can honor your beloved pet’s memory while also caring for your own emotional well-being by allowing yourself to grieve, seek support, and practice self-care.

About the author: Rowena David is a faculty member at the University of Makati and an animal welfare advocate.

This article also appears in the Manila Standard



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