Looking through the memorial websites that pet owners create when a beloved pet passes away has shown
me that there are a number of ways that people come to cope with the loss of a pet.
seem to be unsure or even embarrassed about the depth of grief and loss that they feel when a close pet dies. In the
back of their minds they may think that other would think "it was just a pet" or "only an animal" and
be surprised at how the death affects them.
But the truth of the matter is that we form a very
special bond with our pets, they become part of the family and we love and take care of them for many years.
Many people confide in their pets (If my dog could talk I'd be in big trouble). Pets help to take us out of
ourselves when things are not going so good in other areas of our lives, and they have unconditional love to give us.
All of this goes to form a special bond that when broken by the death of our pet, goes to make a substantial loss.
Possibly those who think "it's just a pet" have never really formed that special human/animal bond, and
this brings to mind the beautiful quote by Anatole France.
"Until one has loved an animal,
a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
It is totally okay to grieve for a lost pet and
it is also necessary if you had that special bond with your pet. Many people find that writing down their feelings helps
A simple heartfelt verse or poem is a very good way to contact the grief that you feel. Writing down your favorite memories, or an expression of the
relationship that your had with your pet will go to help with the grieving process.
want to mark the passing of a pet in other ways with a headstone or other physical memorial, such as a personalized cremation urn.
More and more people are creating on-line memorials and a lot of the people who do say that
it actually helps them to focus on their feelings and memories, as well as, giving friends and family a chance to better understand
the relationship that they had with their pet.
It is well accepted that in order to truly come
through a period of loss and grief, one must be able to face every aspect of the loss. Focusing your attention on your
pet's life and what they meant to you will help in that process.
We sometime have to cry the grief
out to allow the joy of our good memories to shine through.
If you are coming to terms with the
loss of a pet or animal companion and if you are finding it difficult, try focusing your attention on your pet, try writing
a short poem, try writing down exactly what your pet meant to you. Yes, the tears will come, but if you continue to look at those
memories and feelings, soon the tears will go and you will be left with the good memories. But more importantly you
will be able to enjoy those memories once the grief has gone.