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Pet Loss Brings Back Past Losses

When people lose a pet, not only do they experience that loss, but many re-experience a past one. Understanding the reason this happens can help those suffering in this way.

When people lose someone close to them, they go through a grieving process. At first, they be in denial. They may not be able to accept the person has died. Once it does sink in, they will become angry. This anger can come out by crying and yelling over how unfair it is that the person has died, or in other ways. Some people will become angry over situations that have nothing to do with the person who has died, and that’s usually because the person has not dealt with the anger inside. After the anger subsides, bargaining may be a stage. This is when the griever pleads for the life of the deceased – he/she yearns for the person and will think or say he/she would do anything to have the deceased back. After a while, the bargaining turns to depression. It’s part of the last stage – acceptance. Accepting the death of someone close can be extremely difficult do, but it is part of healthy grieving.

When people experience pet loss, they often go through the same grieving process: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. What makes pet loss after someone passes even more difficult is that it can bring back memories from the last mourning. This can intensify the feelings of anger, depression, and prolong acceptance. Being reminded of those feelings and how they cannot to a special person in their life can be too much for some people to withstand. It’s one of the reasons many people are affected by pet loss more than others are. They are not only dealing with the loss of the pet, but they are also re-dealing with the loss of a person.

How to Cope With It

Hang on. Just as you have gone through it before, you will go through it again. What’s on your side is you know what to expect. You know how you dealt with it before, so now, you know what’s coming next. As you’re down at your lowest point with the grief, you can look back and realize that you were in the same place before, but you did get up. You were able to pick up the pieces and move on with life, eventually.

It’s important not to rush the process. The grieving process needs to happen at the pace most comfortable for you. If you’re in denial for a little longer than last time or longer than others around, that is okay. If you’re angry, be sure to acknowledge why you feel that way instead of displacing it on someone or something else. Being able to realize it’s because of your grief will help you work through it easier.

Time does heal all wounds. Be patient with yourself as you go through the grieving process. There’s no right way to do it. You can go back and forth from one stage to another during the process. Just hang on and soon, you will feel relief.

How have you coped with pet loss? Did it conjure memories of grieving for someone who passed that was close to you? Tell us about it below.