Healing Heartache After Pet Loss
The loss of a pet can leave us heartbroken. Sadly, the impact of the heartbreak of this type of loss is often downplayed or ignored by friends and family.
Without meaning to, others can be hurtful and unhelpful with their reactions, such as ‘It was only a cat,’ or ‘Are you going to get another dog?’. It may seem like they are trying to rush you passed the loss by dismissing the real impact on you, or even replacing the loss by suggesting a new pet straight away. The unconditional love of an animal is something that cannot be replaced.
Animals are unique individuals.
Your relationship with your pet is special – it’s a bond that is very different to those that people share with each other. Often a pet is the most trusted companion in a person’s life and losing this relationship can feel as devastating as losing a close relative or friend; yet when that pet dies and we’re bereft we get little to no support.
While others might not understand our pain, we often don’t know how to help ourselves, either. We may compare our loss to others and feel we don’t have the right to grieve. Or we grieve alone because we fear ridicule, judgement or unsolicited advice. If your pet was your closest companion, the loss may be compounded by isolation and loneliness.
Different types of pet loss can cause grief
I want you to know that it’s okay to grieve the loss of an animal no matter how it happened – this may include:
- animals that have had to be re-homed or given up for adoption due to family circumstances,
- animals that were stolen or have run away from home
- animals that have been diagnosed with a terminal illness or injury.
The loss may have resulted in changes in routine and the feeling that you have lost your sense of purpose or identity, or you may feel a sense of guilt for having your pet put to sleep, or feeling like you could have done more to help them, adding to your feelings of grief.
What you are feeling is a normal and natural reaction to loss.
What I love about the Grief Recovery Method is that it teaches us not to discriminate by type of loss. Pain is pain. Your grief is real and it is felt at 100%. You need to be heard, not fixed.
By acknowledging the loss of a companion and allowing ourselves to grieve and say goodbye to our pets we can free ourselves to love again.
The Grief Recovery Method teaches you the step by step actions to heal your broken heart so you don’t have to wait in sadness for things to get better on their own – and can make it possible for you to treasure their memory without the pain.