Dealing With Loss
Anyone who considers a pet to be a beloved friend or family member knows the intense pain that accompanies the loss of that pet. The following is a guide for coping with the grief and making the necessary decisions after the loss of a pet. Find more at www.petloss.net by Moria Anderson, M. Ed.
Pet Loss Support Group
When you need help and support to cope with the loss of a beloved friend, turn to Pet Rest. Our Pet Loss Support Group meets the second Tuesday of every month at 7:00 pm. Come to our office to find a comfortable space to gather with folks who are experiencing similar grief.
When: 7:00pm - 2nd Tuesday of the month>
Where: 132 Redbank Road, Goose Creek, SC 29445
Why: To help you and other cope with the loss of our beloved furry friends.
RSVP: (843) 797-5735
What Can I Expect To Feel?
We all experience grief in different ways. Besides sorrow and loss, we may also experience the following emotions:
- Guilt - may occur if you feel responsible for your pet's death. It is pointless to burden yourself with guilt for the illness or accident that claimed your pet's life.
- Denial - makes it difficult to accept that your pet is really gone. It's hard to imagine that your pet will not greet your, when you come home.
- Depression - is a natural consequence of grief, but leaves us powerless to cope with our feelings. Extreme depression robs us of motivation and energy, causing us to dwell on sorrow.
- Acceptance - occurs when we complete the grief process and are ready to move on with our lives. We will always have our memories.
What to Do About My Feelings?
Be honest with yourself about your feelings, you have suffered a great loss and it's natural to feel grief. We are all different, some find comfort in talking with friends and relatives, while others express their feelings in writing poems and stories. There are also pet loss support groups available. Please contact us for more information.
When Is the Right Time To Euthanize?
Your veterinarian is the best judge of your pet's physical condition. However, you are the best judge of the quality of your pet's life. With the help of your veterinarian, evaluate your pet's condition along with proposed treatments. Ultimately, the decision to euthanize is yours. Remember - euthanasia is the unselfish act of kindness, it is humane and painless.
Should I Stay During Euthanasia?
Some feel it is the ultimate gesture of love and devotion to stay while others feel it is best not to stay. Discuss this with your veterinarian and together you'll decide what's best for you and your pet.
What Should I Tell My Children?
You are the best judge of how much information your child can handle. Experts advise being honest and talking extensively about pet loss as a family. Be sure to explain the difference between the phrase "put to sleep" and ordinary sleep. Never criticize for tears or for feeling sorrow.
Will My Other Pets Grieve?
Pets observe every change in the household and are bound to notice the absence of a companion. Like humans, animals form strong attachments to one another. You will need to give surviving pets a lot of extra love and attention. It is important to notice changes in water consumption and diet. Consult your veterinarian if needed.
Should I Get A New Pet Right Away?
There is no right or wrong answer. Some people need time to adjust while others are ready to enter into a new relationship. Be very careful! It is important that a new pet not be compared to a deceased pet. Each pet has his or her own unique personality and deserves to be special in your eyes.
There are several options for disposition. You'll need to consider your personal and religious values as well as your finances and future plans when making your decision. Historically, home funerals have been popular. However, you'll need to consult local ordinances pertaining to the regulations of Pet Burial in your area, as there may be restrictions. A pet cemetery provides a sense of dignity, security and permanence. Cremation is a less expensive option that allows the handling of ashes in a variety of ways: scatter them, bury them (even in the city) or place them in an urn and keep the ashes.