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Pet Loss


Grief is one of the most confusing, frustrating and emotional experiences a person can have - it is often even more so for pet owners. Society in general does not give bereaved pet owners "permission" to grieve openly. Consequently, they can feel isolated and alone.


The death of a pet can mean the loss of a source of unconditional love and it can mean there is no longer anything for the pet owner to nurture and care for. These feelings are particularly intense for the elderly, single people and childless couples.


Grief is the normal response to any important loss in life and psychologists have long recognized that the grief suffered by pet owners after their pet dies is the same as that experienced after the death of a person.


Healing

  • Give yourself permission to grieve. Only you know what your pet meant to you.

  • Memorialize your pet. It helps make the loss real and allows the bereaved to express their feelings, pay tribute and reflect. It also draws in social support from family or friends.

  • Get lots of rest, good nutrition and exercise.

  • Surround yourself with people who understand your loss. Try to let others care for you.

  • Learn all you can about the grief process - it helps owners realize that what they are experiencing is normal.

  • Accept the feelings that come with grief - talk, write, sing, or draw.

  • Indulge yourself in small pleasures.

  • Be patient with yourself. Try to not let society dictate how long your mourning should last.

 

 



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