To those who are unfortunate enough to not have a furry loved one in their lives, they do not fully understand just how important these furry friends really are. They may say things like “but it was only a dog/cat”. As an animal lover, you know that these furry animals are more than just an animal and a pet; they are a member of the family. Just like when you find out that a family member is dying, it’s the same with your furry friend, you are absolutely crushed to hear the awful news that they have a limited amount of time to live. This doesn’t really help you in your time of need when you find out that you now have to say goodbye.
Hearing those words may send you flying for a loop like in a wicked roller coaster ride, you can experience so many different emotions from one minute to the next. From anger, to sadness, to regret, and eventually maybe acceptance. Acceptance doesn’t mean you forget them, it just means you accept that this is where their next step is in their life journey.
Everyone is different when it comes to grief and loss but one way or another everyone still feels the awful pain from the loss. In fact, anticipatory grief may even be worse than when the death occurs because you have to watch the process happen almost in slow emotion. You are often reading all about the information of what is to come. You are learning all about euthanasia. You are handling your pet’s every up and down while trying to be strong for them. You will be looking for the signs that the time has officially come when you have to send your loved one to their eternal peace from the pain.
These are real emotions that you are feeling and they should be taken very seriously. You should talk about it as you would any other highly distressing time in your life. You can talk about it with a trusted friend or a professional counsellor. There is even pet loss or bereavement counselling you can go access. You should also consider joining a pet loss support group. This can be very useful for those who have anticipatory grief and for after their passing. You may also find a great deal of comfort in finding a way to celebrate the life of your pet through a doggie bucket list or doing great things to make the best of your time together. It also helps to talk with your vet to understand everything that will be going on. They will answer any questions so you know what to expect. This is incredibly helpful because part of the grieving process that may be most difficult is not knowing what is going to happen next. This may also bring cause contemplation and questions about life, death and the afterlife, which can also be helpful during this coping process.
Bereavement of a pet is a very real matter that can be a challenging event to endure. When you are strolling with an ill pet, you will have a whole host of very strong emotions to deal with. These little animals are so much more than just furry animals that shed all over your home. They cuddle with you when you are sad. They are there to listen to you when things are rough. They are members of your family and your best friends and nothing could be more painful than having to say goodbye to them.