In Memory of our all our pets gone to Rainbow Bridge.
If you have a pet that has gone to rainbow bridge and would like to remember them here, please send in the details.
COPING WITH DEATH OF PET – Understanding Pet Loss Grief
Taking it hard? It is perfectly understandable for you to be experiencing a serious grief over the death of your beloved pet! And don’t let anyone belittle your loss or take away your right to a fitting bereavement. One of the best things you can do to help yourself is come to the realization that although most outsiders don’t understand, you are perfectly justified in your deep feelings of grief and loss.
Why am I devastated over the loss of my pet?
- I am more upset over this than the death of my (friend, relative). Is this wrong?
- What are the normal signs and symptoms of pet death bereavement? What can I expect?
- Should I get another pet?
- How can I help my children deal with the death of their pet?
- How can I deal with people who don’t understand what I am going through?
- I just can’t cope with this loss alone. Where can I get help?
Why am I devastated over the loss of my pet?
You may be surprised at the intensity of your sadness when your pet dies. You may wonder if you are weird to be grieving so deeply over the loss of “just an animal”. NO, you are not weird or abnormal. It is normal and healthy to mourn the loss of a deep love bond, whether that tie was to a human or an animal.
Outsiders may not understand, so just console yourself with this thought: You hurt deeply because you loved deeply! It shows that you have a big heart and compassion for all of God’s creatures. This is something to be proud of, not ashamed of or embarrassed over. You have lost a beloved member of your family and this deserves a proper bereavement.
I am more upset over this than the death of my (friend, relative). Is this wrong?
It might help you to think realistically about your relationship with your lost pet. The love you received from him was different than the complicated love relationships you might have with humans. Your pet likely adored you! He was always there for you, never criticized you, never held grudges, and always forgave you, no matter what. Are there any humans in your life that have ever given to you this selflessly?
For all this love, your pet expected no more from you than a good belly rub or ear-scratching, right? A pet can be the only source of pure, unconditional love that you will ever know. They winnow their way into your heart and become a trusted member of the family; a comforting presence in your intimate day-to-day life. A human acquaintance or relative that doesn’t live with you just cannot impact your emotional life to that degree.
You also receive tactile comfort from a pet; touching, stroking, rubbing their fur. You might even kiss or hug them and confide your deepest thoughts to them, knowing they will never betray your secrets. Your pet has probably seen you naked, in all your glory, and he never told anyone about your big belly or sagging behind!
As Sandi described in our lead story, your pet likely expressed pure joy and excitement when you returned home after an absence. Did your grandfather ever do that? I am sure that you loved your grandparent, or Aunt Nelly, or even your co-worker who was lost in an accident. And you will grieve properly for them. But the unconditional love your pet gave to you created a different and very strong emotional attachment, a comforting presence that is sure to missed heartily.
So our message is this: don’t feel guilty for hurting deeply over the death of your pet. Stop comparing the pain of that loss to how you felt about the death of humans in your life. These are two very different kinds of losses, and naturally will be mourned in different but appropriate ways.
This is beautiful Tsoko and her loving family wrote a wonderful tribute to her. We are all really sorry for your loss and hope that the lovely memories will be a comfort in times to come:
Tsoko was a beautiful, loyal, and loving cat. She seemed to either make everybody smile or make everyone get mad. She was a cheeky cat, always whining for food! I have experienced many enjoyable moments with her, but my favourite of all was when she hid in the pile of toys I had made. She was just peeking out, making all of us laugh. Through tears and laughter, she has always been there for me. Both friend and foe will miss her. Thank you Tsoko for a life of love. At the age of sixteen, I hope you Rest In Peace