Is It Time To Say Goodbye To Your Pet?

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It is expected that almost two out of every three Americans will open their hearts and their homes to a companion animal. Even more so during a pandemic, when life can be frightening and unpredictable, the comfort and stability provided by a pet are essential. 

In this post, we will look at some of the ways that, when the time comes for your beloved pet to cross the rainbow bridge, you can deal with the grief and learn to live without their physical presence in your life.

Image via Unsplash

Saying goodbye to your pet

When is the best moment to do something?

Pet owners may find this to be the most difficult decision they have ever had to make. When making a decision, remember to consider what is best for your pet, no matter how difficult the decision may seem to be.

Because no two cases are alike, consulting with your veterinarian will be beneficial. Because they are less emotionally invested, it may be simpler for them to think about what is best for your pet and to guide you through the various options accessible to you. You can ask them as many questions as you want – no inquiry is too silly – because they are there to provide advice.

Do not forget to reach out to your family and friends for emotional assistance as well.

Getting ready to say goodbye

Unfortunately, we frequently feel as if we have little control over our pet’s fate at this period, which can be distressing for some pet owners.

Concentrate on the aspects of the situation that you can influence. For example, you can request that your veterinarian come to your home in order to make your pet more comfortable.

You can also consider where your pet will be buried or cremated after they have passed away. 

How to move on after the death of a pet

– Reach out to others who understand

The pain of loss is hard to bear, especially when the one you have lost is a pet who has been with you for many years. If this has happened to you, or someone that you know, then it’s time to reach out to others who understand.

The most important thing at this moment is that you’re not alone in your experience. A pet owner’s grief is often more intense than the grief of a person who has lost a human family member or friend because they have been with them for so much longer and shared so many memories together.

If there are local resources available for grieving pet owners, contact them and ask what they can do to help because sometimes just knowing that someone else understands how tough it can be can really bring some relief.

– Be kind to yourself

Take good care of yourself. While you are going through the grieving process, make an effort to engage in some self-care activities. This might be accomplished by making some more time for your regular self-care activities or by attempting something new that you believe will be therapeutic for you.

If you feel the need, take some time off from work.

Among the self-care activities, you might try at home are the following:

  • Hot bubble baths
  • Yoga or meditation
  • Journaling
  • Walking

– Find ways to memorialize your animal

Creating a memorial for your pet is a wonderful way to express your affection for them. If you enjoy creating things, consider writing, building a photo collage, or setting up a rest area for them either inside or outside of your home to keep them close to you. You can also look at some beautiful urns for pets to have them in your home with you at all times. Some people like to have ashes made into things like rings or necklaces to wear as well.

– Put their things away at your own speed

Some people may wish to give or pack away their pet’s belongings as soon as possible after a loss so that they do not need to see them while others may need to do it over a longer period of time. It may be difficult to let go of your pet’s belongings at first, but allow yourself to move at a speed that is comfortable for you.

It is important to remember that there is no right or wrong way to do things. If you do not want to keep the things for yourself, why not consider donating them to an animal shelter to help give another animal a bit of joy and happiness and carry on their legacy?

– Understand that the way that you feel is normal and valid

Being absolutely heartbroken after the death of a pet is nothing to be worried or embarrassed about – they are completely valid feelings and emotions. Remember, they are a part of your family as well.

– Recognize that the way that you grieve may be different from the way someone else grieves

According to the Kübler-Ross model, mourning is divided into five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance or adaptation. 

Your path through these phases, even from one day to the next, will be unique to you and your circumstances. Each person goes through these stages at their own pace and in their own way, and they can go back and forth between them. There is no consistent way to approach grieving, denial, rage, bargaining, or any of those phases – it is not a linear process. 

We must acknowledge that people are experiencing these emotions, and we must encourage and lead them through each of these diverse emotional reactions.

– Hold a remembrance ceremony

People who have lost a beloved pet often find great consolation in gathering with friends and family to commemorate them. It is a time for them to say their goodbyes while also commemorating the pet’s existence. The ceremonies can be heartbreaking, but they can also be extremely cathartic.

– Make sure your whole family is supported – children and other animals

The loss of a fluffy pal has an impact on everyone in the household. You may need to comfort your other pets as well, as they are likely to be grieving as well. If you have multiple pets in the house, they will mourn the loss of their companion.

Children may also require further help because the death of a pet may be their first personal experience with death. This may be their first real opportunity to lose someone.  We have to make certain that we are able to assist them in times of sadness, death, and dying. It is a whole new experience for them, and it can be really frightening for them.

Above all, remember that it will take time to come to terms with the loss of a pet. If you do not obtain another pet straight soon, and even if you do welcome another pet into your household, there will be a period of adjustment before everything is back to normal. At the end of the day, you realize that your pet just wants you to be happy.   You never really “move on” — you just keep moving forward, and the attachment you have with each pet is unique. They can’t be replaced for a like-for-like companion. 

Image via Unsplash

When is the right time to get a new pet?

If you get a new pet before you have had enough time to work through your grief, and this may result in issues with the pet as well as with yourself. So, when is the best time to make a decision? Due to the fact that everyone grieves in their unique way, there is no uniform solution to that issue.

Some people find that the loneliness of an empty house makes grieving more difficult, and a new pet can be a comfort during this time. Others, on the other hand, may harbor resentment against a pet that was acquired too soon. This is the best moment to get yourself a new pet since you will have worked over your grief sufficiently to feel secure in the knowledge that you will be able to look forward to new relationships rather than backward at your loss. Depending on the individual, this could take a matter of days or weeks; for others, it could take months or years.

When a pet passes away, grieving is a perfectly normal and natural reaction. Never allow anyone to tell you that you are insane or ridiculous for grieving over “just an animal.” Never allow anyone to convince you otherwise. The end of a relationship is painful; thus, do whatever you need to do to get through the painful period. Cry, punch a pillow, chat to a friend or support group, and plan a memorial service that will allow you to pay honor to your pet while also saying farewell to him or her. Then, when the time is perfect for you, you will be able to share your affections with a new, carefully selected animal companion.

Sarah x


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