Losing a pet is a heartbreaking experience, one that can cause feelings of overwhelming sadness, physical pain, anger, depression and stress. All of these feelings are a normal part of the grieving process.
Grief is a very natural response to losing someone who has shared part of our life. The process of grieving for a pet can be no different than mourning the death of a human. Everybody handles grief differently. There is no right or wrong way to respond to the emotions that you’re experiencing.
Grief is not a temporary state of mind. It may take you weeks, months or years to work through all of the emotions, but at some point, you’ll begin to feel better. You’ll find you’re able to experience joy in life again
For many children, the loss of a pet may be their first experience of death. This is an opportunity to teach them about coping with the grief and pain that comes with loving another living creature.
Some children feel angry and may blame you for your pet’s death. Other children may feel scared that their other pets, or you, are going to die and leave them. It’s important to talk about these feelings and help them through their grief process.
Some people prefer to shield their children from the sadness of losing a pet by not talking about it and hiding their emotions. This can leave children feeling more confused, frightened and betrayed once they learn the truth.
It’s important to remember that your other pets may be affected by a missing pet and the suffering experienced by people in the house.
With your support, patience and some extra attention, your other pets will recover just as you do.