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How To Cope With Pet Loss: Grieving the Death of a Beloved Pet

By Marianne Soucy

When your beloved pet has died, it is perfectly normal to grieve. You might even be surprised by the depth of the grief you experience.

Grieving doesn’t happen according to a schedule, but often comes in waves with various emotional and physical symptoms, some more dominant than others. Below is a list of symptoms you might experience or recognize from your own grieving:

  • Sorrow
  • Overwhelming sadness
  • Yearning
  • Emptiness
  • Loneliness
  • Guilt
  • Anger
  • Helplessness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Trouble concentrating, and you cannot focus at home or at work
  • You cannot stop crying.

 

You might feel that the grief is too painful, so you try to ignore it by keeping busy or by numbing yourself in various ways, but it does not actually help, because by ignoring your feelings, you are also cutting off your ability to live fully. And even if you do try to suppress the grief you feel after losing your animal companion, you will still be overwhelmed by the grief from time to time anyway.

The grief can be so overwhelming that you feel you are drowning and your heart is broken.

In the following I will share a simple but powerful exercise that will help you to acknowledge and cope with your grief.

Allowing yourself to grieve

Grief is a very powerful emotion, so when you feel overwhelmed by grief after the death of your pet, it is crucial to acknowledge the grief. Try not to resist but instead accept and embrace the grief. Allow the feelings to be there, and cry if you need to, but don’t feed the grief with your mind by thinking about what you should or shouldn’t have done. Simply allow whatever feelings you have to be there. You can for instance put on some relaxing music to help you calm down.

From grief to inner peace

Allowing yourself to grieve will help you reach a state of inner peace and heal after pet loss, so you can easier see past the pain of the loss. You will see and remember more clearly the love you shared with your pet and be grateful for everything your pet has given you instead of being torn apart by the pain of the loss.

And when you are not stuck in the grief anymore, you will be able to use that love and gratitude to not only improve your own life, but also to help others you meet on your path, both humans and animals.

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