When It’s Time To Say Goodbye: Coping With Pet Loss
The death of a beloved pet is arguably the most difficult and heart wrenching aspect of pet ownership. We all know it’s inevitable, but there’s nothing that can prepare us for the deep grief and sense of loss that accompanies saying goodbye to a cherished companion.
Sadly, few pet owners allow themselves the time and space to truly mourn the passing of a special furry friend. At Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center, we have found that taking the time to honor your pet, in a way that is meaningful to you individually or as a family, can help you to heal in a healthy way.
Coping With Pet Loss
Grief comes in all shapes and sizes. It’s important to remember that there is no right or wrong way to grieve, and that it’s ok to feel intense pain and sadness. You may also experience emotions such as guilt, denial, anger, and depression. Being honest with yourself about your feelings is the first step on the path to healing.
Taking care of yourself during this time is also critical to the healing process. It’s easy to get caught up in helping children and other family members cope, and in the daily grind of life, but it’s imperative that you allow yourself time to grieve. Don’t be afraid to reach out to trusted friends or family members for comfort, or to seek support from one of the many local organizations that host pet loss bereavement groups, including:
HABT Denver Pet Loss Support Group
Homeward Bound Pet Loss Support
Humane Society Of The Pikes Peak Region
Websites such as pet-loss.net can be good resources for coping with grief, too. Here you can find stories, poetry, join online support groups, and more.
Honoring A Beloved Pet
Many pet owners take great comfort in memorializing their pet in a tangible way, whether that is through an honoring ceremony or the creation of a physical object in memoriam of their loved one. We offer the following suggestions:
- Create a scrapbook or memory box, include photographs, writing, and perhaps some meaningful objects
- Frame a photograph or drawing of your pet and hang it in a place of honor in your home
- Hold a funeral or memorial service for your pet; invite friends and family who were close with your pet and prepare a short speech in memory of your pet’s life
- Share funny and touching memories of your pet with others
- There are many wonderful books available for helping children cope with pet loss; ask for recommendations at your local library or bookstore
Our Deepest Condolences
Your friends at Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center are here to support you during this intensely difficult time. Please don’t hesitate to contact us regarding any questions or concerns you may have following the loss of your pet. We are happy to assist you in any way we can.