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Understanding the Range of Emotions When Dealing With Pet Loss

There are so many different emotions that go through your mind - and your heart - when dealing with the loss of a pet. In fact, the range can be so vast, that it can actually be confusing for some people. Everyone expects to feel sadness when they’ve just been dealt the blow of losing a pet. However, they often don’t expect to feel anger, frustration, confusion and anxiety that often come along with the sadness.

Pet loss can adversely affect how people operate day-to-day and how they deal with the grieving process. Pet loss can be as devastating as any other type of loss. Pets serve as faithful companions for their owners, and their passing can feel as horrible as losing a dear friend or family member.

Moreover, this rainbow of emotions that is experienced anytime a loss of this magnitude occurs is completely normal and part of the overall grief cycle. The anger and frustration exist because people cannot comprehend why the death occurred and how to work through the void left by the loss of their friend. Many pet owners invest so much in the way of time, resources, but most of all, love and friendship into their pets, that is can be hard to let go of one of the most important relationships they had with another living being.

And, depending on the level of spirituality a person has, they may have some unresolved questions and feelings about death in general, which can in turn make the pet loss that much harder to bear. Accepting these feelings as normal and facing them head-on, instead of burying them deep inside of one’s soul really is the only true way to work through the emotions that come along with the devastating loss of a pet.

Additionally, there are several other ways to work through this loss, including memorializing pets through a variety of means. Having an actual pet burial or pet cremations ceremony is one step in this process, allowing pet owners some opportunity for closure. Next, planning a pet memorial service, writing an online pet memorial and even creating a beautiful scrapbook full of photos for the many memories your pet left behind are all healthy methods of grieving that can help one accept the pet loss. These are all healthy ways of dealing with the grief of a pet loss. For those that don’t with loss of any kind very well, some counseling might help to resolve feelings about what has occurred; however, this is usually needed in extreme cases of grief and there are usually underlying issues in place in these situations.

Pet loss is a serious, devastating life event and working through the grief rather than suppressing it is critically important. It is no less significant than the loss suffered when losing a human loved one. Pet owners should allow themselves to experience all of the emotions associated with such a loss and depend on the support network around them, including family and close friends. Moreover, remembering the good times shared between owner and pet through the memorial process will also go a long