Our pets live relatively short lives. The death of a pet leaves few people totally untouched, and some deeply grieving.
When a pet dies, we expect that our pain will be acknowledged, and even shared, by our relatives, friends and colleagues. Though the bond between you and your pet is as valuable as any of your human relationships, the importance of its loss may not be appreciated by other people.
The process of grieving for a pet is no different than mourning the death of a human being. Realize that you do not need anyone else’s approval to mourn the loss of your pet, nor must you justify your feelings to anyone.
Seek validation for your pain from people who will understand you. Speak with your holistic healing team or join Holistic Actions Academy with a like-minded community to build health and support loss.
Having a memorial CELEBRATION OF LIFE can often be very nourishing and even cathartic.
There are more and more pet grief support groups and bereavement counselors and sympathetic clergy. Holistic practitioners for people can help with flowers essences, essential oils, Reiki, Chinese Medicine and more. Homeopathic practitioners can help your through your grief in ways that make you more resilient and healthy.
This is an opportunity for emotional and spiritual growth. Your life was and will continue to be brighter because of the time that you shared with your pet. We are each spiritual beings temporarily in a physical body for a short time. The spirit continues and may even communicate more fully with no physical body. This is the best testament to the value of your pet’s existence. Your animals want you to be happy and joyous, as they are, even when they have passed.
A reminder from Gail Pope – “do not waste a moment of your animal’s mourning their future death.”
Five Stages of Mourning Your Companion
- Denial and Isolation
- Bargaining and guilt
- The first type is very normal – they are just not here any more. Our life patterns are now new, so on top of the loss is change, often hard for many of us. Some of our other animals may react to our grief. The more holistic your approach, the less you and your other animals will be affected. There can also be a more subtle form of depression where life is just not good anymore. This would be a critical time (if recognized) to seek homeopathic or other care.
- Acceptance and joy for having lived with this wonderful being.
Again, one of the best things you can do for yourself and your family is have a supportive health care team and holistic community who will be supportive as you move through the five stages, and maybe move back and forth several times.
Each of us mourns differently and some recover more quickly. Some are joyful for the time they had and for the new adventures their companion has moved into. New pets may come quickly, slowly, or never. We each have our paths in life and they are all different, so feel good about YOUR choices.