The Death of a Pet – A Process of Grief

If you love dogs and have, or have lived with one then you will probably know, or are worried about what it feels like to say goodbye.

Grief of the loss of a much loved dog is crippling. It can take months to come to terms with, years sometimes and in many cases the loss of a pet can make your heart ache forever.

The thing to remember when you wake on the first day without your pet is that the pain will become less raw, I promise you that. It will probably never go away just as the love for your dog will never leave. One day though you will be able to think of them and smile.

I truly believe that the actual event of the death of a pet takes us into a post-traumatic stress disorder type condition. Whether it is the result of illness, accident or much dwelled on decision that it’s time to let them go peacefully it is perfectly normal to relive the event over and again in the mind. The recurring memory is part of the grief process, remember though, as painful as the process is, going through it is gradually healing you from your loss.

You may also go through a stage of disbelief. I remember losing my little Yorkie cross a couple of years ago and wandering around the house in a daze saying that I wanted my little dog back. That again is a stage of the grieving process, as was curling in a ball on the kitchen floor and sobbing, unable to believe that he was gone.

Grief hits in waves. It takes your breath away and smashes you in the chest when you least expect it. It gives you a hard time and it can be for a long time. Then it eases up, allows the good memories to filter through like rays of sunshine on a cloudy day.

The most important thing to remember is that grief for a dog is no different to grieving for any other member of the family. So do not be hard on yourself for what you are feeling. Give yourself some understanding and allow yourself to feel the pain, for you have to feel it in order that it progresses through to good memories.

The good memories, after all, will keep your dog alive within your heart for the rest of your life.


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