Pets often fill a void in our lives in ways that humans cannot. Especially when you live alone, an animal companion can alleviate loneliness and add meaning to your life. Let us not forget about emotional support and guiding pets such as dogs. These provide companionship and give independence to the disabled and support to the mentally strained.
That is why the loss of a pet often feels devastating, to say the least. It may turn out to be an even more uncomfortable feeling when you do not know how to deal with it and worse when you do not have support during that time. Losing a pet you saw, fed, played with, and just spent time with daily is much similar to losing a close friend or family member. Your routines and everyday life are disrupted, but not many people can relate, and you are stuck alone, wondering if you are normal for having these feelings. “I mean, they were just an animal, weren’t they?” You may ask yourself.
Doubt in your grief is exacerbated by lacking a support system that understands you and your loss. When you do not have many pet owner friends, it can be a very lonely time when your pet goes. Animal Family, an advanced pet preservation company, has years of experience dealing with customers going through this process and has seen strategies that get people through these trying times.
On top of getting your pet preserved so you still have the joy of petting them and feeling their presence, there are a couple of things you need to understand and steps you need to take to go through the process effectively.
Take Control of Your Grief
Grieving the loss of a pet can be very difficult. For people with mental illness, emotional support, pets play a vital role in their lives. These animals help them lead a healthy life, and when the inevitable happens, it is beyond devastating. The first step you need to take is to examine the relationship you had with your pet and allow yourself to feel the loss.
Do not fight grief but observe it to better deal with it. You may find yourself going through the usual stages, including denial, anger, guilt, depression, and acceptance. No matter which stage you find yourself in, let yourself go through it without trying to avoid it because resistance only makes it last longer. You may also find yourself in intense high and low cycles of grief. Rest assured that time will do the healing and all you have to do is persevere. Instead of what you have lost, focus on what you had the privilege to experience.
To let the process take its own course, you need to understand that:
· Time is your only ally. The grieving process cannot be stopped or hurried, and it takes different amounts of time for different people. It may take you weeks, months, or even years to finally get to a comfortable space mentally, and that is okay. However long it takes, be patient and let it happen organically.
· Sadness, fright, and loneliness are normal reactions. When you lose a daily part of your life that brought you joy and companionship, it is normal to experience a range of emotions. This is not an indication of weakness but a reflection of just how important pets can be in our lives.
· Fighting, ignoring, or bottling up the pain only makes it worse. Any suppressed emotions come back up later, only stronger. Just like anger and other destructive emotions, grief and sadness only amplify when ignored or pushed down. Instead of trying to avoid the discomfort, embrace it and seek out help.
It is also important to note that many pet owners nowadays are opting for preservation methods such as taxidermy to mitigate the loss of their animal companions. Being able to pet and talk to your animal after the fact greatly helps in coping with their loss. A good taxidermy service understands what you are going through and will handle the situation with a lot of consideration.
Having been through the same trauma you have experienced, a company like Animal Family knows how to provide warmth and support as they handle your loved one. One of their employees even states that the most gratifying part of her job is seeing customers come from grief at the beginning and seeing them excited and refreshed by the time they get their beloved pet back. If you are currently going through this process or planning ahead, they even have this resource to help you through.
Understandably, one of the common questions they get is how to deal with losing a pet. Through their own experiences and shared ones, some methods have helped both their customers and families get over hard times.
How to Cope with Losing a Pet
· Reach out to others who have lost pets. On top of visiting message boards and forums online, Animal Family is a great place to look for support. Not only because they have experience dealing with people just like you, but they can also connect you with a support group from one of their clients. Even if that is not possible, they can also put you in touch with someone else who needs help grieving, just like you do.
· Holding a ceremony is healing. Having been an important part of your life, it feels wrong to just put them in the ground or have them cremated and forget about it. Even when you have chosen to have them preserved, it is important for closure to have a ceremony where you can express your feelings and say a proper goodbye.
· Protect yourself. Dealing with loss can quickly drain you of both physical and emotional reserves. It is important to maintain healthy habits like the gym, running, yoga and meditation. Many people let themselves go after a loss, but this is when you need to really hone in on anything that fortifies your mind and body. In addition, developing a new healthy habit or hobby will help fill in the time you used to spend with your pet.
· Learn your grieving process. Do not let outside influence tell you how you are supposed to feel or react to the loss of a pet. You should not even try to convince yourself about how you should feel. You can only learn how to deal with it after you have studied yourself in that situation. After that, you can better come up with a plan of action to cope with the loss of your pet.