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How to Cope After the Loss of a Pet March 10, 2022

Coping with the loss of a pet - Portrait of a dog

It has been repeatedly said that for many, pets are like members of the family. Perhaps this is most apparent when coping with the death of a dog or cat. Whether it happens suddenly or accidentally, or after a lengthy illness, the loss of a pet can be emotionally draining.

How is the death of a beloved pet best handled? Are there ways to make the process easier? Here are some thoughts to consider:

People Handle Death Differently

We all handle loss differently, so don’t look for the perfect way to handle it. This was your pet and you had your own unique relationship with it. It is your grief and your own sadness. Accept that there is no “right” amount of sorrow to feel.

Your Sadness is Valid

Don’t invalidate your emotions by trying to diminish them. This was your pet and friend and was far more than an animal. Don’t feel like deep sadness and tears or crying are unjustified. There’s no need to hold back tears. There is no shame in demonstrating your grief.

Spend Time with Those Who Knew Your Pet

It can be very healing to seek out those who knew your pet and enjoyed spending time with them. Share stories and talk about how you are feeling. The fact is, those without pets may not fully understand your grief or level of sadness. You may be better spending more time in the immediate future with those that do.

Schedule Events to Take Your Mind Off Your Pet

Go to a sporting event, concert, movie, or another event that your pet wouldn’t have accompanied you. Avoid activities (at least for a while), like taking walks, that you and your pet may have done frequently together.

Gradually Rid Your Home of Items That Remind You of Your Pet

As you feel comfortable, begin to rid your home of your pet’s toys and other items that remind you of them. Instead, replace them with a photo or other small memorial.

Say a Proper Goodbye

Don’t be afraid to pay for pet cremation or burial. You can even keep the cremains of your pet in an urn. This is neither silly nor a waste of money, and it certainly is not if it brings you comfort. It can help provide a sense of closure that can be invaluable.

Fare’s J. Radel has the only privately owned crematory in the Cincinnati area. We understand the deep relationship that can exist between a pet and its family and can assist in the cremation of your pet. Please feel free to contact us with your questions.

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