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My Pet Died - Processing and Dealing With Your Loss

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By Phyllise 16th October Pet Loss Articles 0 Comments

Losing your pet is very difficult. You may have prayed for him to get better, but God had other plans and this time He could not answer your prayers for your pet. You feel empty, sad and overwhelmed with grief. Your loss is profound. You may feel some guilt and anger. You know that you are in pain; both emotionally and physically.


You look around your house and it hits you like a ton of bricks. His toys are scattered around the house. Each one is a memory. The ball he played with yesterday still carries his scent. You see some of his hair in the corner. Yesterday it might have annoyed you. Today you pick it up and instead of tossing it away, you hold it close and cherish it.


Some people have the need to immediately put away all of their beloved pets belongings. Leashes, food bowls and beds are all quickly gathered up and gently placed in a closet. Others can't stand the thought of packing up their pet's belongings. Instead, they take great comfort in having them in sight.


After Jake's death I worried about leaving his belongings out. I was concerned that by doing so, it would cause Couper, my surviving dog, to feel worse than he was already feeling. He was mourning the loss of his best friend. Yet rather than being upset with Jake's belongings scattered around the house, he instead took great comfort from them. He would sniff Jake's toys, sleep in his bed and even spend time in Jake's crate. Before Jake's death, Couper never liked the crate. On the other hand, Jake loved it. The door would always be open and he would go inside it and sleep in it for hours during the day. It was like his own little den. Yet after Jake's death, Couper took up the ritual of crawling into the crate and having an afternoon nap.


It's been almost two years since Jake's death. And still to this day I can't even think about throwing away his all-time favorite toy; a worn out deflated basketball. It was his prize possession. He would proudly carry it around in his mouth. It looked quite silly but he absolutely loved it. To this day that roughed up old deflated basketball sits in my garage. It's the first thing I see when I get into my car, and the last thing I see when I return home. It gives me great comfort and I honestly don't think I will ever be able to throw it out.


Don't let someone else decide what you should do immediately following the death of your pet. Grieving is a process. Healing is a process. Neither can be rushed. I have taken great comfort in remembering Jake as he was. I try not to focus on his last day. To do so would be unfair to him and to his memory. Try to remember all the wonderful days you shared together. It will help you heal. There was a time when I would look at another yellow lab and the sadness would take my breath away. I decided this wasn't helping me. Now when I see a yellow labI use that moment to think of Jake and to remember the wonderful years we had together.


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