Bereavement and grieving for a pet

The grief of pet loss is difficult.

The grief of pet loss is difficult. - Credit: Archant

Unless you have lost a pet, you may not realise the overwhelming feelings of loss and heartbreak this brings.

Pets are a big part of most families, sometimes being the only companion, reason to get up in the mornings.

Our pets are unquestioningly there for us. Thus, its hard to say goodbye.

Being able to say goodbye is important, being with them for that last moment.

This has been especially difficult throughout the current situation, people having to walk away as their pets are taken into the vets for the last time.

The grief of pet loss is often as difficult as the loss of a human loved one, it is important to talk about those feelings, often those of guilt at having to make that final decision. 

This is a kindness we can afford our animals that we cannot to humans, alleviating suffering, this can be a comfort.

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Many people chose to have a memorial,  a casket with your companion's ashes within, a spot in the garden or place in a pet cemetery, ideal for those with no garden. Somewhere to sit, feel close to them,  remember their lives.

It can be hard but it is important to look past the pain and suffering and, instead, remember the joy they brought, their best days, their favourite toy or bed, these can help get past some of the heartache.

There are counselling services for anyone struggling, also many social media peer groups, which can be supportive and understanding.

Also, its always worth considering, given time, taking on a rescue animal that is in need of that empty bed, loving home and a kind family.  

While this does not fill the gap your pet left, it helps heal the wounds because they will need you, take up your time, keeping your mind away from your loss.

If you have lost a pet and need further help, here are some resources to try: 

Blue Cross - https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-bereavement-and-pet-loss 

Cat chat - https://www.catchat.org/index.php/pet-bereavement-support 

A very helpful resource is https://www.theralphsite.com