The death of your companion animal could be one of the most significant losses in your life. This loss will be accompanied by grief and the physical manifestations associated with it such as crying, fatigue, depression, loss of appetite, apathy, sleeplessness or oversleeping, anger, guilt and even anxiety.
It’s important to know that everything you are going through is a natural process. However there are steps, tools, and processes you can take advantage of that will make the grieving process easier.
Here are 5 tips that will help during the grieving process and allow you to move on with your life more quickly and easily.
Acknowledge That You Have the Right to Grieve
All too often the grieving process is complicated by feelings that you are over-reacting to the loss of your pet. After all “it was just an animal” many of your friends and family might say.
These well-wishers may not realized the depth of attachment that you shared with your constant and loyal companion. Realize right now that it was and still is a meaningful, heart-felt relationship and you have every right to deeply miss your companion and grieve.
Form a Support Network
During this vulnerable time surround yourself with people who understand and are empathetic to your situation. There are many support systems and communities available. Your veterinarian may have suggestions as well as your local humane society. Many cities offer local, in-person pet loss support groups. There are on-line forums and communities where you can connect with people in the same situation.
Perform a Ritual
When you feel ready performing a ritual is a way to formally say goodbye to your companion. It also gives you permission to move on with your life. You could have a funeral for you pet even several weeks or months after their passing. Consider performing a candle ceremony with select friends and family. Let your inner creativity shine and design a ritual from your heart. Know that whatever you choose will be perfect.
Take Care of Your Body
The grieving process affects your body. During such times it is important to give your body extra care and attention. Going for walks out in Nature can clear your head and ground you. Exercise can help put you body back in balance.
Consider getting a massage. Massages release toxins and relax you. What else can you do to pamper and take care of yourself during such a trying time?
Learn to Soothe Yourself
Soothing yourself is an important process to learn and implement during times of intense grief. It is a way to feel better and allow yourself to move up the vibrational scale.
Essentially, talk to yourself as you would talk to a hurt child. “I know that I am feeling extremely down today. But that’s OK. I’ll be with what I feel because I know that really soon I’ll feel better. I know that I have lots of options right now. I could go on-line and connect with new friends. Or I could call my grief coach. I know that this intense feeling will soon pass. I also know that my animal companion is with me, right now, in spirit. And if I get quiet I can connect with him. Actually, I can feel my spirits lifting right now. Yes, I do feel better. And I will feel even better if I take a hot bath right now. I am so grateful that I have this afternoon off so I can take the time to pamper myself. I deserve it.”
Play with this new tool often, whenever you feel like you would like a little lift to your spirits. You will be amazed at how effective soothing yourself is.
Take heart that although this is a seemingly impossible time you will soon feel better. There are many resources and people to help you elegantly recover from the loss of your beloved animal companion.