Have you recently experienced the death of a pet? Do you have a pet that’s dying? Whether your loss was recent or a long time ago, is your heart ready to split open? Are you wondering why you have certain emotions and concerned that those emotions may not be healthy or natural?
Your pet made a significant impact on your life. Healing your pet loss grief is not about forgetting your pet – it’s about healing the vacancy in your heart with understanding, appreciation, and gratefulness.
Step One ~ Feelings are Normal :
To begin healing your heart from the pending loss or loss of your beloved companion it’s important to understand your emotions. Whether you just got the news that your pet has a terminal illness, they’ve reached the end of their life, or they’ve been gone for a while, this chapter will help you tame the rollercoaster ride of sorrow. I’ve found that once you understand what you’re experiencing, you can begin to feel hopeful again. This article will get you started right away. Here’s what you can expect when going through the journey of pet loss grief:
Normal Feelings of Grief :
Physical ~ crying, sobbing, wailing, numbness, dry mouth, nausea, tightness in chest, restlessness, fatigue, sleep disturbance, appetite disturbance dizziness, fainting, or shortness of breath.
Intellectual ~ sense of unreality, inability to concentrate, being preoccupied with the loss, hallucinations concerning the loss, a sense that time is passing very slowly, or a desire to rationalize about the loss.
Emotional ~ anger, depression, guilt, anxiety, relief, irritability, desire to blame others for the loss, self-doubt, lowered self-esteem, being overwhelmed, or being out of control, hopeless, or helpless.
Social ~ having a sense of isolation or alienation, feeling rejected by others or a reluctance to ask for help.
Spiritual ~ being angry at your deity when a loss occurs or bargaining with your deity to prevent loss As you can see, normal grief comes in many shapes and sizes. The thing about grief is that it has a life of its own. Here’s an action step to get you started.
Step One Action Step :
Keep a daily list of your unique sensations and notice the changes every day.
Step Two ~ Stages of Growth:
The next step to healing your heart when dealing with loss is to learn about the stages of grief. Like the feelings and emotions you’re experiencing, the stages of grief have no rules or order. Each one of these stages can guide you through the process of pet loss. Each one has a particular lesson and healing property for your heart and soul. Please keep in mind that since this experience is unique, you may not go through all of these stages as your daily pet loss progresses—yet you may. Whatever you experience is normal, so be compassionate with yourself. Never compare what you are going through to someone else’s.
Here are the Seven Stages of Grief:
1- Shock and Denial
2-Shock and Denial
3-Anger and Bargaining
4-Depression, Reflection, and Loneliness
5-Adjustment to Life
6-Your New Normal
7-Acceptance and Hope
I believe that knowing as much as you can about the stages now rather than later, helps you prepare for future changes.
Step Two Action Step :
what stage of grief are you experiencing now? Have you experienced any other stages?
Step Three ~ Myths to Debunk
Now that you have a brief understanding of what normal grief is and have knowledge of the seven stages of grief, the next step is to become aware of the myths. The thing about myths related to grieving, is they’ve been around for a long time and can either help you with healing your heart or be a hindrance to your healing process. The key to making sure they help you heal your heart is to be aware of them and then debunk them. I know an incredible real life story about Denise and her dog Sadie. Denise went from complete sadness to laughter (a way to express grief) when she realized how she could debunk the myths.
you too can leaarn how these myths are very common, and why many people think they’re true. if you are not aware of them, you could become confused as to why you’re suddenly sad, outraged, etc. Here are the eleven myths that are most popular; some may even surprise you.
- It’s selfish and extravagant to mourn and grieve the death of a pet when our world has so much human suffering
- You must follow the seven stages of grief in exact order so that you can heal your pain
- There’s a right and wrong way to grieve
- he best thing to do is to grieve and mourn alone—because it’s just a dog, cat, horse, etc
- You have to be “strong” with your grief
- Grief never changes
- No one gets my pet grief, and I am alone in what I am experiencing
- Pet loss grief will go away. Once I do all the grief work, it will go away
- It’s not right to feel joy at moments in your life when your pet is terminally ill or after they reach the end of their life
- It’s horrible to feel happy or relieved your pet died
The myths I just listed are some of the most common myths. Our well-meaning friends, family, or co-workers may offer you a myth as a so-called “word of wisdom.” Their well-intentioned comments could instead trigger your grief. Once you become aware of these myths and why they are not true, you’ll be able to react to them with grace and compassion for yourself and your beloved companion.
Step Three Action Step :
take one or two myths you’ve experienced and debunk them in your own words.