If you've been lucky enough to have a furry friend in your life,
Than you probably know the crushing heartbreak when they leave. You may even feel a little crazy for keeping their leash and collar, their chewed up toy, their fur.
Well-meaning friends and family may try to lessen the pain by saying things like:
“It’s just a dog!” (Or cat, rabbit, guinea pig, hamster, ferret, parrot, etc)
“Oh, that’s too bad. But you’ll find another one”
“My friend’s dog just had puppies! You should get one!”
Rather than providing comfort, statements like this might make you feel even more alone.
Trust me. You aren't alone. And you aren’t crazy.
We get so little time with our pets, but for the short time they are in our lives, we are their whole world. Losing a friend like that- one that relies on you, follows you like a shadow, comforts you when you’re sad, makes you laugh after a bad day, and gazes upon you with absolute love and devotion
It is a profound loss.
Honor that. Honor your feelings.
Honor your pet.
Grief doesn’t just end. There is no “getting over it” when a pet dies. Their absence is the new normal, and we learn to live with it, to make peace with it, even when we can’t accept it. Grief is huge, and some days it feels bottomless. It is so big, that we need some way to contain it- some sort of vessel. Part of letting go of the hold that grief has over you is by creating or receiving something tangible- something that becomes a lasting memory.
Having something tangible to remember an beloved pet can make the grief process slightly more bearable.
If you've lost a pet recently (or a long time ago) and are still struggling, I've created a private support group on Facebook. This group is made up of people who GET IT! We don't judge. We've all been there and know the pain of losing a cherished pet. We are there on those days you think you should be "over it" but you aren't. Click here to join Paws to Remember.