Learning how to cope with pet loss can be challenging. Know that there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Everyone grieves and copes with loss differently. Are you struggling with not knowing what to do after the loss of your pet? I have listed 14 ways that can help you cope with your loss.
Cry as little or as much as you need too
Crying has many benefits for your body and mind, especially during difficult times. Don’t hold back on letting your emotions go, as these tears often help release some of the pain and stress.
Talk about your feelings
Reach out to someone who understands the relationship you and your pet had. Talk to them about how you are feeling. These people care about you and want to help you. Seek professional help if you need to.
Look after yourself
Make sure you take time to eat and rest. These may seem like such small things but are crucial for your well being. Exercising may be the last thing on your mind, but it releases a happy hormone, endorphins. Also getting some fresh air on a small walk can help clear your mind.
Write in a journal
Keeping a journal has therapeutic value as it provides you with a way to explore your feelings, emotions, and memories in one place. They say that time heals pain, but only if you work with that pain. There are no right or wrong way to journal, just write from your heart. Download our free ‘30 writing prompts – working through grief’.
Reach out to grieving community group
Talk and listen to others that are going through a similar experience as you. There are many free online support groups that you can join. There may even be a support group in a nearby town or city. Try not to close yourself up. Reach out and share your feelings and memories of your beloved pet.
Write a letter to your pet
Sometimes it is easier to write it down than say it loud. Although, saying goodbye is never easy. Write a letter to your pet to let them know how much they mean to you and share your favourite memory with them. You can keep this letter, bury or burn it, or pray (reading the letter) to Heaven – do whatever makes sense to you.
Try to stick to your regular routine
This is important especially if you have other pets or children. Routine can create a sense of comfort and can reduce your stress levels. The structure of a routine will help keep your body functioning properly.
Hold a farewell ceremony
Rituals can help us come to terms with what has happened and give us an opportunity to say goodbye. Hold a private ceremony for your pet or attend a service at a local pet cemetery or crematory.
Remember your pet
Take time to remember your pet. Think of their personality and things they used to do. Remember the good times. Remember the special moments you had together. Treasure all these memories and even look at pictures if you feel like up to it.
Get a memorial created
Custom memorials are a great way to keep your pet close to your heart. Commission a pet portrait or have a piece of jewelry created from their hair, ashes, whiskers, etc. This will be truly an unique and special way to honour them.
Visit or volunteer at an animal rescue
You may not be ready to welcome another pet into your life right away. Surrounding yourself with other animals can be very therapeutic. Visit or volunteer at a local animal rescue. Share your love with the animals, which will add some light to their day and yours.
Make a donation
Giving can bring you joy in life, so why not consider making a donation in memory of your pet? A tribute to their life while helping a cause that is close to your heart.
Read a ‘Letter from Heaven’
Know that your pet will always love you – they will always be watching over you. Read a reassuring ‘Letter from Heaven’ (cat and dog versions) and even download it for free to print and frame for your wall. A reminder that they are safe, free from pain, and missing you everyday.
And remember to take your time
You and your pet had a special bond – you deserve to take time and reflect on your emotions. Don’t let anyone rush your feelings or try to get you to move on before you are ready to take that action. Everyone grieves differently and you should do it in your own time and how you want to.