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Posts: 18

Dealing with Loss

Here are some suggestions for how to cope with loss that I have learned from my own personal experience, reading, chat groups and message boards.  

Initial grief

The grief you feel at the beginning can be overpowering both emotionally and physically, but, please take heart, it will get better with time. The grief is a natural result of the love and connection you had with your dear pet.  The grieving process, despite being so painful, is also a natural process. Our bond with our pets is often deeper than the ones we share with people.

Suggestions for initial grief

  1. Let the tears flow as they will help you heal.  They are Tears Of Love and an important expression of love and sadness.

  2. Keep drinking water especially if you're crying a lot. Keep eating. It's important to take care of yourself physically.

  3. Talk with supportive friends and family.  HUGE WARNING: most people do not understand the grief we feel for our lost pet. As a result, be prepared if they are less than helpful. 

  4. Go to online pet bereavement chat, bulletin boards, or a counsellor that specializes in pet bereavement.

    ****Give yourself permission and time to grieve.

Further suggestions to help with the healing and acceptance

I don't believe that we “get over” the lost of our beloved pet. I don't like the words “closure” or “resolution” because it gives the idea that there's an ending to our grief.  So that's why I look at it as “Healing and Acceptance” or better yet, finding a way to live again and regaining a happier life. We will carry our pets in our hearts and souls forever.

They have enriched Our Lives and made us better people and the world a better place to live in.

Please try any of these suggestions that you feel may be helpful:

  • have a Memorial in Celebration of your pet's life

  • light a candle

  • make a small shrine

  • make a memories box of a locket of fur, toys…..

  • make a photo album

  • make a journal about your pet.  This can be a really great project.  Write about the things that you feel are important.  It could include topics like these: how you met, funny stories, special characteristics, things you like to do together, special places you'd go to, favourite activities, special talents, your pet's personality, what your pet look like…... 

  • write a letter(s) to your pet

  • have your pet write a letter(s) to you

  • talk with your pet

  • have your pet talk to you

  • change the routines of your life,  especially the ones that involved your pet

  • make a donation to a pet charity

  • volunteer at a pet shelter

  • go to an online pet bereavement chat like  There are also a list of counsellors that specialize in pet bereavement

  • read books about pet bereavement.  I found Dr. Sife’s book, The Loss of a Pet, very helpful as well as When Your Pet Dies: A Guide to Mourning, Remembering and Healing Paperback by Alan D. Wolfelt

  • this one is worth repeating.  Make a journal about favorite memories and happy moments.

  • keep socializing and getting out.  If you isolate yourself you can get trapped in a revolving circle of negative thoughts and feelings

  • remember that it is okay to heal. Do not punish yourself with guilt or feel that you must mourn forever to prove that you loved your pet.  Your love for your pet was made to enrich your lives and the world. 

Be creative and think of your own things.  Please be kind to yourself.  There is a way through. 

**** Please add more suggestions ****

Posts: 639
Good stuff!

Thanks for sharing-

Posts: 41
This is wonderful information and so helpful. Thanks!

Posts: 18
 #4're very welcome.  hopefully it will provide some help for people.

Posts: 12
Thank you, these are great suggestions!

A personal one from me that I am working on - I am making a playlist with all of Teddie’s favourite songs, including the last song I sang to her gently as she was drifting away, as it always soothed her during vet visits. I have asked my family to add to it, and we have compiled a little mixtape with all the songs we associated with Teddie. It’s really healing to have this list to listen to, especially since it has very happy songs on it as well as sad ones.

Posts: 18
You're welcome.  What a very beautiful tribute to Teddie.  What i found helpful knowing was that the heavy grief doesn't last forever.  In some ways, we all go through the same thing, but it still is still an individual journey.  My best wishes to you.



Posts: 106
Wonderful ideas and suggestions. Thank you so very much. Is the website? I find it most helpful to talk with people that understand the intense grief on the loss of a most loved pet.

Posts: 18
 #8 has a great chat on pet grief.  You're very right.  Usually, it's only people who have gone through pet bereavement that can understand and relate to what you are going through.


Posts: 7
I copied and pasted your suggestions.  Thanks so much.  My sister says to get on with my life.  But I can’t and don’t want to ever forget my sweet kitty.  I think I’ll make a journal starting when I adopted her.  What breaks my heart the most is knowing that my memories will fade because she’s not a part of my everyday life anymore. But I don’t want to forget anything. Not ever.

Posts: 18
You're very welcome.  I also wanted to hold on to all the memories of our Marlow Cat.  Even as the specific memories fade we will always hold onto him in our hearts.  We talk about him all the time.  I suggest you do the things that are kind and helpful to yourself.  Your "sweet kitty" is always with you and will always be a part of you and would want this for you too.  Love doesn't die but make us what we are.....the most important parts of our lives affects us deeply and trying to forget them is impossible and in my opinion not right.  So we have the mix of emotions of grief, sadness, anger, denial, thankfulness, love, happiness, broken hearts and everything else under the sun.  And we are thankful to have shared our lives together.  

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