How to recover from losing a pet

Losing a friend can feel like the hardest thing you’ll ever go through. It was found that the loss of a pet can be as taxing as losing a loved family member on your mental health. Grief is subjective to the individual, which means everyone deals with it differently. Some feel the need to shove this sadness away, and tucked in a safe place, while some feel so much they can’t function for a while. 

We all deal with it differently, and that’s perfectly normal. Right now, you might feel like you need to ignore the pain, but that can only make things worse later on. Think of it like plastering a band-aid on a bullet wound. Eventually, the damage will be worse compared to addressing the wound right away. Here are the steps you can take to recover from losing a pet. 

Take your time

With all the business and deadlines, it’s easy to feel like we can work away our emotions. This is simply not true. One day, those bottled emotions will eventually bust, and the pieces will be harder to pick up. Give yourself time to grieve and feel all the emotions that come with this loss. Time to understand the situation and process everything, and lastly, give yourself time to rest and eventually heal from this wound. 

Reflect upon your companionship

Make sure to experience both positive and negative emotions that come with this. 
Journaling is also a popular way to work through these hard emotions, and reflect the relationship you had. We understand that it can be difficult to appreciate all the times you’ve had together. Photos and videos might feel too hard to go through right now, but you can always talk to a loved one about the heart-warming stories you’ve had together. 

A Memoriam in honor of your pet

Your pet deserves to be honored and remembered. Setting up a memorial is a way you can honor them, and there are many things you can do to remember your beloved companion. If you need ideas, there are projects such as: Jewelry made from ashes, paw printed artwork or keychains, or even a simple box filled with their belongings are a few things you can do to honor your pet.

Connect with those around you

Even though everyone deals with grief differently, empathy and comfort are crucial during this time of need. Seek comfort and support from those around you, spend time together and talk about your feelings to understand yourself further. There are also many online communities that give you a safe place to express your emotions, and seek further support from people going through similar situations.

Understand the grieving process

Grief is not linear. After learning about the grieving process, there is often an unrealistically expectation within to immediately heal right after the acceptance stage. It’s important you acknowledge that grief comes in waves. Like the ocean, you will get waves of sadness, anger, or even denial. Sometimes, the waves are bigger than the last. But you have to remember that in-between those waves, there is life.

Don’t forget to take care of yourself – especially now

It can be so hard to keep up with everyday things when you’re going through the grieving process. Sticking to your routine, sleep hygiene, or even nutrition regimens, can feel like a slippery slope. Prioritize these everyday things in your life, or seek professional help if you find that these tasks are too difficult. 
Don’t feel ashamed in seeking professional help, since stress has a big impact on your mental and physical health. Asking for help when you need it is the wisest thing you can do. 

The scar from losing a beloved pet runs deep. It’s important to realize this and remember you are healing at your own pace. Prioritize your health, and your normal routine; but know that some days are harder than most, so don’t beat yourself over it if you really can’t manage. Be prepared for both good and bad days, and remember that grief is not linear. 

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