Pet Loss: Part 3

This is the third part of a series on pet loss. You can read Part 2 here.

For some, losing a beloved pet can be one of the more painful life experiences. Bereaved pet owners can become so grief-stricken that they are unable, at least immediately, to perform daily activities. I have heard of bereaved pet owners who are unable to go to work because they are unable to stop crying, or have completely lost focus and concentration.

One of the main factors that assists with getting over a loss is emotional support. This applies to both deceased pets and people; however, getting over the death of a pet carries additional complexities. Since our society doesn’t value the open expression of grief in general, we tend to stagnate somewhere along the grieving process. With pets, there is little to no social norms that support the expression of grief towards a deceased pet. Therefore, some bereaved pet owners may never fully come to terms with the loss of their pet, or feel ashamed when mourning a pet’s death.

Given that social support contributes to good grief, it is important for bereaved pet owners to seek out others who will provide non-judgmental empathy and emotional support. I encourage you to be selective. All too often, people tell me that their grief is met with ridicule or indifference. In order to work through pet loss grief, bereaved pet owners need to find others with whom they can openly express their sorrow.

For those that are lacking social support, there are usually pet loss support groups available at local animal rescue organizations and shelters. Some bereaved pet owners may need additional support, and a licensed counselor can provide the non-judgmental empathy that may be lacking elsewhere.

Please contact me if you are interested in receiving more information, or my services.


2 Responses

  1. One important thing to note on grieving the loss of a pet is that there is no emotion should ever be viewed as insignificant. Along with the grieving process and acceptane come an enormous amount of different emtions that one needs to let out and express in order to fully heal. Many may not understand these feelings of loss for a pet and society tends to belittle them. But the reality is that for many these feelings are real and the grieving process is as important as if it were another human being. Finding the right emotional support through this difficult moment is crucial in the healing and acceptance process.

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