Path To Healing
The process of healing is unique to every individual. It may be long. It may be painful. “Healing” does not mean “forgetting about your lost animal friend.” Healing is about accepting the reality of your loss – getting used to the idea that your pet is gone and will not be there to greet you at the door – and overcoming feelings of grief which might interfere with your changed life and its new routines.
To help you on your path to healing:
ACKNOWLEDGE the emotions which arise as a result of your loss.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF and allow others to care for you.
- Be patient with yourself. Periods of grief may come in waves, then recede, only to arise again at a later time.
- Forgive yourself. Release any feelings of guilt. You did the best you could at the time.
- Get plenty of rest, good nutrition and exercise.
- Indulge yourself with small pleasures.
- Join a support group.
COMMUNICATE with family and friends
- Share your feelings
- Be honest and open with yourself, family members and friends.
- Accept without comment insensitive remarks made by people who have not had an opportunity to experience the love and joy of having a pet. At the same time, realize that you are not alone, that many others have experienced deep feelings of loss and sadness when their beloved animal companion died.
REMEMBER experiences with your pet, both positive and negative
- Gather those who loved your pet to share feelings and memories, to cry and to laugh together.
- Create a memorial.
- How and whom to tell about your loss
- What to do with your pet’s remains and your pet’s belongings.
- REARRANGE your daily routine and some home furnishings to avoid repeatedly encountering sights, places, times or activities which might trigger feelings of loss or loneliness.