Saying Goodbye - 5 Tips to Prepare for the Loss of a Pet

Saying Goodbye - 5 Tips to Prepare for the Loss of a Pet

March 15, 2020

As pet parents, we wish our animal family members could stay with us forever. Unfortunately, these precious souls only share our lives for a finite amount of time. If we’re lucky, we get to enjoy many years of companionship. Still, the inevitability of death and having to say goodbye can be overwhelming. If your pet is nearing the end of his or her life, here are a few things you can do to prepare - emotionally, spiritually, and practically - for that sad day.

Acknowledge anticipatory grief.

It’s common to experience feelings of sadness, heartache and anger even before a beloved pet has passed on. Further, these emotions can be exacerbated by the stress of having to care for an elderly or terminally ill pet. This is known as anticipatory grief, and it’s nothing to feel guilty over. Just as you should allow yourself to grieve the loss of a pet after his or her passing, it’s ok and even healthy to allow and embrace these feelings in advance of your expected loss.

Live in the moment.

It’s easy to become so consumed with thoughts and plans regarding the impending death of a loved one that you lose sight of the opportunity to enjoy the time you still have with them. This is especially the case with a pet who requires a lot of extra care, as with medications or incontinence. Consciously take some time, aside from those day to day care activities, just to enjoy some quality moments with your pet. Look them in the eyes, pet them and just be present in the moment. You’ll be glad you did.

Wrap up any unfinished business.

Are there activities you’ve always wanted to do with your animal companion but never seemed to have the time? Now’s your chance to do so, so that you don’t have to live with regret. Jot down a “bucket list” of all the things you want to do and places you want to go with your pet and then start working your way through the list one by one. Spending this quality time together and making lasting memories can really help with the healing process once your pet has crossed over.

Start making arrangements in advance.

Making final arrangements can be difficult enough without having to do so while you’re in the midst of grief. Ask yourself those difficult questions now – like what you’ll do with your pet’s remains and how you’ll memorialize him or her. For instance, you may want to purchase a commemorative urn or arrange to preserve some of your pet’s ashes to be turned into a piece of memorial jewelry. Planning ahead can help ease some of this burden and allow you to focus on the grieving and healing process.

Establish a support system.

When that sad moment finally arrives, you’ll want to know who you can turn to for support. Speak with close friends or family members in advance and let them know what you’re going through. Lean on those who care, whether it’s a shoulder to cry on, asking someone to accompany you to the vet or getting someone to help take your mind off things. Seek out others who also loved your pet so you can share memories and work through the grief process together.

Losing a loved one is heartbreaking, whether two-legged or four. Being as prepared as you can be for when that sad day inevitably arrives can make it a little easier to cope and navigate to a place of peace and healing.  

 

 

 

 

 




Also in Blog

Grieving the Loss of a Pet – When’s the Right Time to Adopt Again?
Grieving the Loss of a Pet – When’s the Right Time to Adopt Again?

March 23, 2020

Losing a furry family member is a deeply emotional experience, and the process of grieving the loss of a pet isn’t something that just goes away overnight. It takes time to heal and finally reach a place where tears and sadness are replaced with smiles and happy memories. It is at this point that many people start to question whether it’s the right time to welcome a new pet into their heart and home.

Read More

5 Common Misconceptions about Grieving the Loss of a Pet
5 Common Misconceptions about Grieving the Loss of a Pet

March 09, 2020

If you’ve never experienced the loss of a pet before, you may unwittingly be the victim of a few common myths and misconceptions. The fact is, grieving the loss of an animal companion can be just as difficult as losing a human loved one. Recognizing some of these mistruths is the key to overcoming them in your own journey and can make the healing experience go much more smoothly. Let’s take a look at a few of these misconceptions below.

Read More

Pet Cremation and Burial Options
Pet Cremation and Burial Options

March 02, 2020

When the time comes to lay a family pet to rest, there are a number of options. The one you choose will depend on a variety of factors, such as your beliefs, your budget and your access to resources. Understanding each of these options and their pros and cons can make things a little bit easier during a difficult and emotional time.

Read More