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  • How to get over the loss of a pet

    How to Move Forward from the loss of a pet

    Our animal companions are just as important as other family members and their deaths can heavily impact us. The feelings of grief and loss that occur when a beloved pet passes away may feel intense and all-consuming.

    If you’re having a difficult time coming to terms with the loss of your pet, including actively mourning or showing your grief, Therapy Westminster can help. The following tips can help you understand the grieving process after losing a pet and how to find emotional support through therapy and other coping strategies.

    Understand your grieving process

    Every person’s grieving process is different and non-linear. Although there are a few recognized steps to the way people commonly grieve the loss of a pet, these steps could occur in a different order for you – or you could experience one step multiple times.

    Understanding how you grieve and which stage you are in can be a helpful tool in recognizing your loss. Identify whether you are feeling anger, denial, guilt, or if you’re trying to bargain your way out of the situation with a higher power, yourself, or others. Allow yourself to experience and process all of these feelings and remember that you are not a “bad” person for feeling them.

    Eventually, processing feelings surrounding pet loss grief can lead you to a mindset of acceptance. During this stage of the grieving process, you’ll be able to remember your pet with fondness and sad or angry feelings will decrease.

    Every person’s grieving process is different and non-linear. There are many ways to work with grief. One way is the usually familiar stages to the way people commonly grieve a loss, these steps could occur in a different order for you – or you could experience one step multiple times.

    Strategies for coping with pet loss grief

    There’s no time limit for your grieving process, but it is important to implement healthy coping mechanisms during this time. These coping strategies for pet loss will help you process your negative emotions in a healthier way so you can move on peacefully in your own time.

    Create a ritual for healing. Whether hosting a funeral, wake, or memorial, a practice like this can help bring emotional healing for you and family members. Encourage those who attend to share memories, stories, or feelings associated with your pet or just do what feels right in the moment to help you heal.

    Conserve your emotional resources. Losing a pet can be an emotionally draining and stressful experience. Be sure to look after your emotional and physical needs at this time. Spend time with loved ones, take time to rest well and sleep deeply, take long walks or spend time in nature to help boost your mood, release endorphins, and reflect on the life of your pet.

    Speak to others who have lost a pet. Grieving alone can be an extremely lonely and sad time. Friends, family, or online support groups can help you feel less alone and provide much needed support.

    When to seek professional help

    Sometimes grief from the loss of a beloved pet feels so heavy you may think it will never leave you. If your grief starts to interfere with your daily function or is impacting your other relationships with family and friends, it may be time to seek additional help.

    Pet loss grief therapy can help you cope with the loss of your pet by providing one-on-one, personalized solutions to help you mourn and find healing. Contact Transitioning Through Change to find out how you can move forward from the loss of your pet.