COPING WITH THE LOSS OF A PET

GETTING THROUGH THE GRIEF

Dr. Debbie offers these helpful tips to help pet owners get through the grief due to the loss of a pet:

Acknowledge Your Feelings – Grief is a part of life. It’s only by moving toward the experience of loss that you can learn to live with it. Your feelings are normal and shouldn’t be bottled up. Talk with others and journal about the way you feel. It can help you come to terms with your loss.

Actively Seek Support – Spend time with family, friends and co-workers who have lost a pet. Read books on pet loss. Attend a pet-loss support group. Connect with an online forum. Seek solace through professional counselling and/or your spiritual or religious community.

Be Creative – Transform your grief into a meaningful expression of how you feel about your pet. Write a story, poetry or your pet’s biography. Craft a scrapbook or photo album. Create a work of art.

Keep Moving – Activities that inspire, such as volunteering, craftsmanship, cooking, gardening, taking a long walk and simply loving the other pets in your home can lift your spirits.

Listen to Music – Music can soothe the soul.

Memorialize Your Pet - Light a candle in your pet’s memory. Keep a lock of hair in a locket or Christmas ornament. Hold a memorial service. Place, bury or scatter your pet’s ashes in a meaningful place. Plant flowers that bloom every year (tulips, daffodils, forget-me-nots).

Laugh – Laughter is the best medicine. It serves as a healing salve for the heart.