While the death of a pet means hardly anything at all to some people, to others it is as traumatic as losing a family member. Many people become extremely attached to their pets; so much so that when they lose them, it is devastating. Losing a pet can bring to an end one of your greatest enjoyments in life. You may have played with your pet every day, took him camping with the family, or allowed him to relax in the family room as you and the rest of the family enjoyed a good movie. He was truly a part of everyday life.
When you grieve over the death of a pet, some people may think you are being silly, or overly sentimental. Let them think what they want! You know how you feel, and you know that your pet was a true companion and source of comfort. Feeling devastated, sad and even depressed is a normal. Those who love animals know that there is no more loyal a friend; pets never forsake or judge you. Patterns develop, and you expect that each day when you return home from work your pet will be there, excitedly wagging his tail as you exit the car. When he isn’t there anymore, it is heartbreaking.
The death of a pet brings forward various feelings. You may feel guilt, anger, denial, depression. You may feel angry at the illness that took your pets life, or the driver who hit your pet while driving 20 miles over the speed limit. You may deny that he is really gone for a while. Even though you know in your head that he has passed, your heart still expects to see him as you drive in to the driveway or walk in to the foyer. Getting a new pet is a solution for some people; others feel that they are being disloyal to their beloved pet who is gone.
Dealing with the loss of a pet requires different measures for different people. Most importantly, recognize that you are hurt, sad, angry, or guilty. Never try to suppress your feelings, because dealing with them and helps you work through your grief. Even though your friends or family members may think you have lost your mind, express your feelings. Cry if you need to; talk to someone about your feelings, but never suppress them.
Losing a pet requires doing something with the body, which is completely up to you. You may feel that it is best to bury the body. Cremation may be a solution, as you can have your beloved pet with you if you choose. Pet memorials can be buried, the ashes can be scattered, or you can keep them in an attractive urn and display them in your home or office. It is best to make these decisions prior to the death of a pet, so that you do not make hasty decisions you may regret later. When the death of a pet occurs, depression and grief are normal feelings – don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.