Our relationships with our pets are truly intimate and deeply personal. It’s only natural to feel sadness and begin grieving after experiencing the loss of a pet. Pet loss grief counseling is a useful resource during those difficult times of bereavement.
Acceptance doesn’t always come right away and the first moments we learn our pet has passed can be especially hard. Many individuals will try to avoid or deny their feelings or reality. For instance, it is not uncommon to learn of people taking their pet to the veterinarian to confirm what they already know to be true.
Grief, in general, is a process that affects each individual differently. However, there are common traits that accompany grief and pet loss. The steps below are a helpful guide to assist grieving pet owners in a positive direction after experiencing the loss of a beloved pet.
Step 1: Don’t Avoid The Grief
The stage directly after losing someone close is known as acute grief. Some people will break down and cry. Others might get angry or look for someone to blame, such as the veterinarian clinic. Still, others might try shutting down their emotions completely, becoming stonelike, silent. Acknowledging grief, rather than avoiding it, is vitally important and will be the first step towards healing.
Step 2: Take Things One Step At A Time
The number of causes and factors that can contribute to the loss of a pet are endless. Whether it is due to disease, old age, or a tragic accident, the stark reality of facing life without them can lead to highly emotional states. Performing common tasks might become difficult and feelings of anxiety and depression only make matters worse. Starting simple and taking things one step at a time helps to get through this distressing period without becoming overwhelmed.
Step 3: Talk To Someone
The journey towards acceptance can seem long and might even feel outright impossible. It’s important to find support that is positive and understanding. Family and friends can help, but often visiting a professional will help to accelerate the healing. Pet loss grief counseling provides people the opportunity to work towards accepting the loss without fear of judgment. Grief therapists are compassionate mental health professionals that use their expertise to guide people from bereavement to acceptance in a safe and healthy way.
Step 4: Begin Moving Forward
The process of grieving has no timeline. Even with pet loss grief counseling, healing toward acceptance will take time. Taking positive action steps is known to be a useful method for moving forward. Finding a loving way to commemorate the pet and respectfully memorializing shared moments together can be incredibly healing. Something as simple as calling the veterinarian to inform them of the pet’s passing is also a common suggestion.
More than anything, the most important factor to remember while grieving any loss is to take care of yourself. Pet loss grief counseling is an empathetic environment for healing and discovering acceptance over time. If you’d like to schedule an appointment with a grief therapist in Boca Raton for coping with the loss of a pet, please contact Morgan Center for Counseling and Wellbeing.