In many cultures and families today, there is discomfort around talking about death and grieving. Additionally, the special bond that you had with your pet may not be understood by everyone. Some people in your life may feel helpless and not know what to say or how to support you in coping with the loss of your pet. Here are some suggestions that you may find helpful for yourself or to give to others as you journey through your grief.
Just be with me.
You don’t have to have the “right words” or answers. Allow me to hurt, for this means I will heal. Let me know you care with a card, phone call, hug, etc…
Talk to me about them.
There may be many reasons you don’t, but I end up feeling isolated, alone, and confused. It’s okay to bring it up and talk about what has happened. Ask questions and let me tell you stories. One of the greatest things you can do is share your stories and memories. It’s never too soon or too late for this. I will appreciate this opportunity to remember my beloved pet now and in the future.
Let go of trying to fix my pain, let me lead.
Please don’t tell me why this happened, what I should do or what I should feel. Ask me what I need. If I don’t know, let that be okay. Trust that where I am right now is exactly where I should be – even if it is hard for you to witness. I need to hear both that I have a right to be sad, and that you believe I will get through this difficult time.
Please remember we all grieve in our own way, every loss is unique.
I may not be myself for awhile. I may be self-absorbed, insensitive, or overly sensitive at times. I may need to talk and talk or be more private and quiet in my grief. I may be sad or in tears often, or I may not show much on the outside. I may blame myself or someone else for my pet’s death. I will likely have questions and some crazy sounding thoughts. This is all part of the process of healthy grieving.
Thank you for your love and support.
I don’t know how long this journey will take. I may feel lost and scared. With family and friends who are there for me, I know I can get through it.