When your loss is all you can think about

You have lost your pet. But it wasn’t just your pet who died, it was also your best friend and family member.

This deep emptiness that you are experiencing, this loneliness and heartbreak, is terrible. It is a grief like no other and it affects everything that we do. It disrupts our entire life. Our best friend, the one that was always there for us, through thick and thin, no longer can be. Those who used to be our reliable source of comfort are gone, and just when we need that comfort the most.


Right now, this loss is always on your mind. You feel their absence when you wake up, when you come home, before bedtime, and when you do all of those other little routines that you used to do together. It seems like nothing helps you put those thoughts behind you. It will be hard for some time, but it will get better.


Find Support


You need to talk about your loss during this time. Keeping these emotions bottled up will lead to other problems that complicate and prolong our grieving process. Find and talk to a friend, family member, or co-worker; someone who understands what it is like to lose a pet. Someone you trust and who can empathize what you are going through. This is so important.


If finding someone is difficult there are many other options. Find out if there is a local support group in your area. There is also an online chatroom that meets several times during the week; it is staffed with caring and supportive pet bereavement counselors who are there to listen and help. You can find it, and many other resources, at www.aplb.org.


Write a Letter


There are many people who believe that getting your thoughts down on paper is greatly therapeutic. One thing we like to suggest is to write a letter to your deceased pet. Tell him/her just how much they mean to you and how much you miss them. Write down anything that you might be feeling guilty about. This will help heal your loss in so many subtle ways, and it will eventually help you remember the wonderful times you two spent together.


Take Care of Yourself


You are in a temporary place; getting back to your “normal” self will take time. Your days will get better. But that is not now. Now we have the difficult task of working through our grief and allowing it to take its course.


During this journey, remember to take care of yourself. Grief is hard work and it certainly takes a toll on our bodies. Give yourself extra time during the day and allow for some unexpected periods of tears.


We cry for those we have lost because of what we shared together. Our loved ones are gone, but that does not mean that their influence in our lives and their memories leave too.


“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal,

Love leaves a memory no one can steal.”

Headstone in Ireland


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