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How to Grieve the Loss of a Pet Well February 26, 2024

Grieving the loss of a pet can be as difficult as dealing with a death of a friend or relative. That’s understandable considering, for many, our pets are part of our family.

Our pets are often our confidants, exercise partners, and snuggle buddies. They are loyal, they trust us, and they demonstrate unconditional love.

So are there ways to grieve and adjust to their death that can help us through the process? Here are some ways to help you grieve the loss of a pet.

Pet Grief Is Real and Natural

It may seem easier to minimize the death of a pet because they are an animal. You may even get this reaction from other family members or friends. They may even be compelled to share their experience of a pet’s death with you. It is alright if this doesn’t seem to help. This is your grief and your timeline. Be kind to yourself and accept it at your own pace.

Avoid Looking for People to Blame

The loss of a pet can seem irrational. Looking for answers or people to blame may seem like it will help make sense of the death. Blaming a vet or even ourselves is rarely helpful. You can feel sad and grieve without placing blame.

Don’t Focus on Circumstances Surrounding Death

Pets may pass from illness, accident, or age. Focusing on the circumstances of their death, including euthanasia, may not be helpful. Instead, focus on good times and memories. Remember the good times and how you provided mutual support for each other.

Be Prepared for Waves of Emotion

Those grieving the loss of a pet may experience waves of emotion that may be triggered by a variety of circumstances. Even seeing others enjoying their own pets can trigger emotions. This, too, can be natural.

Be Open to Discussing Your Feelings

Discussing your feelings with a close friend or relative can be very therapeutic, especially if they knew your pet. Don’t minimize the death by verbalizing your grief as silly, or it was just a pet. Your grief is valid, and a good friend or relative can help validate your feelings.

When Children Are Involved

When your sadness and grief are shared by children, it adds another layer of complexity. While openness and sharing are frequently encouraged, they should be age-appropriate. Involving young ones in the final plans for the pet can help provide closure for all of you.

Getting a New Pet

Should you get a new pet following the death of a previous one? If so, how quickly? This is where your own emotions and intuition should guide you. Many people discover the answer at their own pace. It can help to consider a rescue animal or older pet. Keep in mind, that while comparisons will be hard to avoid, your new pet should not be viewed as a replacement. They will have their own likes and personalities. Embrace this new relationship.

The Importance of Saying Goodbye

Saying goodbye to a pet through cremation, burial, memorial, or a garden statue or marker can be healing and help provide closure. It can help move you forward in accepting death and appreciating the time you had together.

If you have suffered the loss of a pet and live in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas and would like to know more about your options for your pet remains, please feel free to reach out to us. We can even help you with individualized pet cremation services and pet urns. We are proud to operate the Cincinnati area’s only privately owned cremation facility.

Contact us with any questions. We would be honored to serve you.

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