How to Deal with the Loss of a Family Pet


Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn’s rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die…

–Mary Frye

Pets quickly become an important part of the family and it is perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed by intense sorrow when a beloved pet passes. Here is a few things you can do to help yourself, your family and other pets cope with the passing of your beloved pet.

Understand that you are not crazy to feel so much pain. During the many years you had with your pet, they were a significant source of companionship, comfort and unconditional love. Do not be surprised by the void you might feel. Some may not understand the pet and owner bond and that is okay. What matters, is how you feel. Do not allow others dictate how you should feel. Your feelings are valid and you are not alone.

Sorrow and loss are common emotions. You may also feel guilt, denial, anger and depression. These are natural feelings and are part of the grieving process. Remember that it was his or her time and you did the best you could while he or she was on this plane.

The most important thing you can do when coping with your feelings is to be honest about them. Do not try to deny your pain or other feelings. You have the right to feel them. Locking away pain will not help. Rather, it is best to express it. Whether it is to cry, scream or talk it out. Do what is right for your. Remember the good times you shared and you will begin to understand what losing your pet really means to you. Some pet owners find it helpful to write memorial poems, stories and letters to their pet.

Most pet owners will understand the loss of a beloved pet. It is always a good idea to find a family member or friend that you can talk to about your loss. Do not try to hide your feelings as a way to appear strong and collected. Working through your emotions by talking them out with someone is one of the best ways to process everything. If you do not feel like you can talk to a friend about this, you can always ask your veterinarian or human association for a recommendation for a pet loss counselor or support group. Some churches and hospitals also have grief counseling. Remember, your grief is real and you deserve to be supported in this.

Contact us with any questions and we will help guide you in any way we can through this process. We are here to help.

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