Coping with the death of your pet can be as difficult as coping with the death of a human family member. Grief is a normal and healthy emotion that accompanies the loss of a beloved pet, and we should never minimize, suppress, or simply ignore our feelings of bereavement. There is no right or wrong way for people to feel as they grieve the loss of their pet; Pets are important members of our family. It is important to understand that each family member has their own special relationship with the pet and that each person may react to the stress of this situation differently. We should remember to respect and care for each other during this difficult time.
If you have a terminally ill or elderly pet, the grief can start a long time before you actually lose them. This is known as anticipatory grief and can bring its own particular pain, anxiety, exhaustion and heartache.
You have every right to grieve and to feel angry, scared, sad, guilty or frustrated. Every person has their own personal timeline for emotional recovery. The support of friends and family may be sufficient to guide some of us through difficult times and as we experience the different stages of grief. Other individuals may benefit from the help of a pet loss grief specialist as they process their grief.
I know from personal experience that grief is deep, overwhelming and leave us in a “fog”. Pet loss grief can be more painful than any other loss we may endure. The total unconditional love we share with our pets can make the loss so much harder than human losses. You do not have to experience your pet loss grief in isolation. I am here to support you on your grief journey, whatever form that may take.
Anger, depression, guilt, anxiety, relief, irritability, self doubt, lowered self esteem, feeling overwhelmed/out of control, hopeless, helpless
Feelings of isolation or alienation, rejection by others, reluctance to ask for help.
Anger/blame towards one’s god/s, bargaining with deity to prevent the loss.
Sense of unreality, inability to concentrate, preoccupation with loss, time passes slowly, desire to rationalize feelings about the loss
Crying, sobbing, wailing, numbness, dry mouth, nausea, chest tightness, restlessness, fatigue, sleep disturbances, appetite disturbances, dizziness