When Your Pet Passes Away

Losing a devoted pet is a painful experience for the pet owner.  In many cases, the pet owner has had to make difficult decisions ending a pet’s life, which adds to their grief and distress.  Here are positive ways to begin to cope with this stress and work through your grief.

1) Understand that grief is natural

Grief is a normal and natural reaction to loss.  Unfortunately, feelings are often discouraged or not supported, so we learn to hide them. The first step to managing grief is accepting it as a natural reaction to loss, and that everyone grieves differently.

2) Ending your pets life can bring grief and remorse – know that you made the right choice

Pet owners often face a difficult decision – when to end the suffering of their beloved family friend.  As a pet owner, you see when their good days start getting eclipsed by their bad days, and you know when it is the right thing to let them go.

3) Realize that people have good intentions when they encourage you to get a new pet

Unfortunately non-pet owners often try to help by suggesting that you immediately replace your pet.  This advice is misguided.  What they do not realize is that your pet was not just a replaceable animal – he or she was a unique, loving member of your household that brought you endless joy. You must grieve on your own time and only then can you consider opening your life to another pet.

4) Memories bring healing

Your special memories of your pet (both good and bad) ensure that they will remain alive forever in your heart. Your memories are precious and recalling them with no judgment is the best way to keep your pet alive in your heart and mind forever.

5) Do not grieve alone

The loss of a pet should not be handled alone. Open communication is the most powerful tool a family has for dealing with this loss.

6) Reminders

Accept your feelings and don’t feel embarrassed by them. Even though you feel a physical absence of your pet, know they are always in your heart and mind.  Always remember that your pet loved and cherished you just as much you loved them.

If you or someone you know have lost a pet, please contact Rabbi Sally to see if her Pets at Rest grief counseling sessions are right for you.  She can be reached at 818-388-8867 or click here to email.  For more information, please Click Here

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