Dealing with Your Pet's Death
For years, your pet (whether it be a dog, cat, bird, etc.) has given you loyal support, comforted you during bad times, and helped you celebrate good times. Your pet is like another member of your family. When he dies, it's nothing short of devastating.
A Memory Box may be the perfect way to help your dog live on in your heart for years to come.
The Grieving Process
Pet owners should never feel like they must rush through the grieving process. It's an important period to go through because it's the appropriate way to recover emotionally. It's a time that owners can spend giving their dog the thoughts and prayers that they deserve.
In order to fully understand what you're going through, it's always a good idea to know the 5 stages of loss and grief. The steps include:
- Denial and Isolation - These are the first emotions that come in the stages of grief. We use these as a buffer to help protect ourselves from the initial shock of the situation. For pet owners, this stage may be even more difficult because when they needed to be alone in the past, they usually turned to their pet for comfort.
- Anger - After the initial denial phase wears off, grievers are left to deal with the situation. Oftentimes, anger comes forth. Anger is the most primitive of all emotions, and death is the most primitive and unavoidable outcome of life. It's not unusual for grievers to look to blame everybody around them -including themselves- for the changes that have happened.
- Bargaining - When anger does not produce any changes, the next stage is bargaining. Pet owners will ask themselves if there was anything they could have done differently and other questions to reconcile the fact that a pet has passed. This is a weaker line of defense than anger as owners move into the appropriate mindset.
- Depression - There are many forms of depression that may come into play. One is public and practical. Pet owners make arrangements for their pet through memorials and/or ceremonies. Also, they look for re-assurance and comfort from loved ones. The other part of this depression is private and requires a sort of internal reconciliation of the situation.
- Acceptance - Obviously, this is not exactly a period of happiness, but it is a period of peace and calmness. Many people never make it to acceptance because of their decisions to resist dealing with the subject, but it's important to get here. After all, your beloved pet would have liked to see you happy.
Establishing a memorial may help you to make it through the grieving process.
There is no definitive timeline for how long it takes to make it through the grieving process; instead, remember to take your time and give yourself everything you need. If you are having a lot of stress, there are always help lines available out there to assist you. Some of the toughest parts of dealing with the situation will be boxing up your pet's toys and your pet's bed and deciding whether or not you are ready for a new pet.
By: Tim Snyder