Pets are not just companions, they are members of our family. The feeling of attachment we have towards them is so strong that when they have to leave us, the grief we experience is very real.
However, there is no magic formula to bring pitou or kitty back, nor is there a miraculous way to stop feeling the intense pain we are experiencing. However, there are small tips that can be applied on a daily basis that can help us get through this loss, while soothing the pain.
Take a deep breath and read these tips to help you through this difficult time.
1. Accept the situation
You may well have to go through a whole range of emotions before you come to acceptance, and that’s perfectly normal.
Each person has their own way of getting through the trials they face and the loss of your loved one is a very painful feeling that turns your life upside down.
This event affects your routine, your habits and your mood, and it is completely normal to take some time to get used to it. Courage!
2. Live your pain
If there was a magic remedy that would soothe all our ills, we would certainly use it! Unfortunately, the only way to get through grief is to learn to accept the events and live with them.
We often hear that time fixes things, and this is especially true for grief. From day to day, you will find that you are experiencing a little less grief than the day before.
There will come a time when you will be able to enjoy your life as you did before, and your loving companion will be part of your sweetest memories.
3. Only you know how you feel
No one can tell you how to feel. Everyone grieves in their own way and no one can tell you to “get over it” or “move on” until YOU feel ready.
Some people don’t have (or never had) a pet and can sometimes find it hard to understand what you’re going through. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s not okay to be in so much pain because “it’s just an animal.”
These people do not understand the impact that animals have on our lives and you may have to find moral support outside your usual circle of friends.
4. Talk to people who have been through the same thing as you
The empathy of a close friend or family member who has been through a similar situation can be really beneficial. There is nothing like a friend or family member to support you during this difficult time.
Online support groups are also very helpful and you will get a variety of advice from people who have been through or are going through the same thing as you.
These people are in a better position to understand what you are going through and they will help you through your grief.
5. Get professional help if needed
There is nothing wrong with looking for professional help if you feel you need it. I often joke that everyone should go to a therapist once in a while to get their head straight.
These experts offer advice from an outside perspective and it’s always enlightening to see things from another angle. It can only be good for you!
6. Create a legacy
Have you ever heard of the term closure? It’s about drawing a line under a period or an event to make space for the present and the future.
You could hold a small funeral for your pet, put together a photo album of your best memories, or create a gallery of decorative frames on a wall, for example.
This can be a very effective way to help you move forward.
7. Take care of yourself
It is especially important that you continue to take care of yourself physically and mentally during this time.
A meditation session, a massage, a walk in nature or a moment of relaxation with a good book are all activities that can help you relax and clear your mind.
Cook good, balanced meals and you’ll feel better already!
8. Stick to your good habits
It’s no secret that exercising keeps you fit and healthy. There’s nothing like getting outside to breathe fresh air and disconnect from reality.
Following a workout, your body begins to release high levels of endorphins (happy hormones), which can be very beneficial to your mood.
There’s a reason they say sports are a natural anti-depressant. Get your running shoes on!
9. Have a good time with friends
Spending quality time with friends over dinner or coffee can really do you good and allow you to put your worries aside for an evening.
Try to see one friend a day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Talking with someone face to face helps you avoid falling into a depressive state and see life in a better light.Try to see one friend a day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Talking with someone face to face helps you avoid falling into a depressive state and see life in a better light.
Call your friends and family and organize a breakfast or an evening at a bistro.
10. Give yourself time
As mentioned earlier, time often makes things better. Let your emotions go without feeling embarrassed or judged.
It’s okay to cry or not to cry. It’s also okay to laugh and be happy, even if you’re going through a difficult time.
There will be ups and downs and that’s normal. When you are ready to move forward, you will know!