Pet Loss is a real loss…no matter what anyone tells you
If you’ve lost a pet, chances are that you’re grieving in silence. Without realising it, others can be extremely hurtful and unhelpful with their reactions, such as ‘It was only a cat,’ or ‘Are you going to get another dog?’.
While others might not understand our pain, we often don’t know how to help ourselves, either. We may compare our loss to others and feel we don’t have the right to grieve. Or we grieve alone because we fear ridicule, judgement or unsolicited advice from others.
If your pet was your closest companion, the loss may be compounded by isolation and loneliness.
Different types of pet loss can cause grief
We want you to know that it’s okay to grieve the loss of an animal no matter how it happened. This may include:
- Animals that have had to be re-homed or given up for adoption due to family circumstances
- Animals of friends, neighbours or relatives
- Animals that were stolen or have run away from home
- Animals that have been diagnosed with a terminal illness or injury
The loss may have resulted in changes in routine and the feeling that you have lost your sense of purpose or identity, or you may feel a sense of guilt for having your pet put to sleep, or feeling like you could have done more to help them, adding to your feelings of grief.
What you are feeling is a normal and natural reaction to loss. Your grief is real and is still felt at 100%. You need to be heard, not fixed.
Most of what we’ve been told about grief isn’t true
It doesn’t matter if you’ve lost a pet or a friend, all loss is felt at 100% intensity at the time of the loss. Unfortunately, the messages we’ve been given since childhood tell us that it’s not okay to grieve.
Do any of these sound familiar?
- “You can always get another dog/cat/hamster/bird, etc.”
- “Keep yourself busy so you don’t have to think about it.”
- “Just give it time.”
- “What’s the big deal? It was just a rabbit/horse/mouse, etc.”
- “You have to be strong so your kids don’t get upset.”
How many times have we received well-meaning comments like these in response to our grief?
The intentions are good, but they don’t help us feel better.
Want to find out more and move past the pain of loss? Book a call today.