Grieving the Loss

One size doesn’t fit everyone when it comes to the grief following the loss of a pet. For some, it arrives in stages, while others it’s more cyclical in nature. Eventually, as they say, give time enough time and gradually, the grief will subside.

Though, I will be the first to admit, even years after Scooter’s passing, specific events can trigger a powerful sense of grief.

Oh, how I miss him so.

As much as I hoped back then, there’s no “timetable” for grieving. The healing process happens gradually, it cannot be rushed. Some folks start to feel better in weeks or months, others like myself, the protocol can be measured in years.

Whatever the case, the timeline to heal is uniquely yours, so be patient and allow it to unfold naturally.

There’s no shame in mourning, it should not be taken as a sign of weakness that you’re feeling sad, lonely, or shocked. These are all typical reactions to the loss of your pet.

If you’re considering bottling up your feelings, or running away from the pain, that’s worth reconsidering — as you’re liable to prolong the healing process. Those hurtful feelings are a natural and normal response that can only be dealt with over time.

Here are a few healthy suggestions for coping with the pain:

  1. Ignore those who tell you to “get over it.” Give yourself the freedom to feel your emotions, to be in the moment, without judgment or embarrassment.
  2. Find like-minded individuals who have experienced the loss of a beloved pet. Maybe that’s an online group, friend, or family member.
  3. A ritual, such as a pet funeral, can help. Here, you can openly express your feelings.
  4. Make sure to look after yourself, as the stress can quickly use up your emotional and physical energy reserve. Get plenty of sleep, eat a healthy diet, and partaking in regular exercise will release endorphins that help boost your mood.