Pets can be a source of infinite comfort, joy and friendship; snuggling with them when you are sad can bring you comfort, laughing at their silly antics can bring you joy, and the bond that you experience over their lifetime creates a lasting and undeniable friendship. When a pet dies, the grief experienced by their owner or family can be deep and intense—which is only natural. If you are dealing with the loss of the pet, please consider the following gentle advice on how to help you cope with the emotions you are experiencing.
Remember that your emotions are natural.
The loss of your pet is an emotionally traumatic experience. It is only normal that you will feel grief—you may feel depressed at the sudden loss of a good friend or frustrated or upset or even angry. Unfortunately, it is all too common for people to be told that grieving their pet is “silly” or that their pet was “just a dog/cat/bird/etc.” It is important to remember that grief over your pet is natural; do not let yourself be fooled into thinking that you are somehow silly because you are mourning the loss of a beloved companion.
Express your grief about your loss
Grief is an experience that may persist for weeks, months—and in some form—years and beyond. There is no cure-all way to “get over” the loss of your pet, but expressing your grief can help you to both understand and process your grief. Talking about your pet and how their death makes you feel is one healthy way that you can express your grief. But if you don’t want to talk to someone about your feelings, simply writing them down can be very helpful. Some pet owners have even started blogs or websites in order to deal with the complex emotions that occur after a pet’s death. Other ways to express grief can include hanging up pictures of your pet, creating a scrapbook album of favorite photos, or even holding a memorial service for them.
Commemorate your companion
It is not uncommon for people to want something that will give them a reminder of their pet; many people naturally desire to remember all of the joy and love that their pet inspired in their lifetime. Commemoration can take many forms—including items such as plaques, urns, necklaces, bracelets, rings and similar pieces. The common theme that runs through all of these commemorative pieces is the idea of keeping the memory of a pet close by even after their death.
One common way pet owners choose to commemorate their pets is through paw print jewelry, which serves as a reminder of their late companion that can be worn on an everyday basis. Paw print jewelry comes in many forms, ranging from simple earrings to necklaces that feature ornamentation or more elaborate styles; the general aesthetic of paw print jewelry features a stylized dog or cat paw print as a centerpiece.