If you have recently suffered the loss of a pet, you will know how difficult this can be. So how can you cope with the loss and memorialising your pet for remembrance?
There is sometimes nothing that can prepare you for the loss of a pet.
Whether that pet has been with you for minutes or indeed years, somehow, a pet can become a genuine part of the family very quickly and can provide companionship and comfort in happy and sad times.
There is something incredibly special about having pets that makes them become part of the household, and sometimes they can rule the roost too! So, when they pass, it can feel immensely overwhelming and incredibly emotional to get used to life without them in it.
We need to learn how to cope with losing a pet while doing some practical things to enable them to be remembered for years to come and remember the happier times when they were by your side.
Let’s look at five ways you can learn to cope with losing a beloved member of your furry family.
Losing a Pet – 5 Helpful Ways to Cope
Create A Memory Box
Creating a memory box for your pet that has passed may seem insignificant at the time of the loss, but when you are feeling a little stronger, constructing and filling a memory box for your pet can be a perfect way of reminiscing about them and may allow you to let go a little once the box is closed.
Of course, this can be an easy task if you have had your pet for a significant period of time, and you can fill the box with pictures, your pets’ favourite toy or blanket, as well as some of their favourite treats. You can decorate the box with their name, along with any significant dates that you wish to remember.
Suppose you have lost a pet that you have owned for a short period of time. In that case, you could still create a memory box for your pet, with their name and significant dates, but if you don’t have any pictures of them, you can write a short description of their colouring, their character, and something they used to love doing on a card and seal it up for the box.
A memory box can be truly helpful in remembering everything you loved about your pet and the joy they brought you and show you how to cope with losing a pet by remembering them.
Join A Support Group
Joining a support group these days is not always about sitting in a circle and taking it in turns to speak your mind or ask a question.
Support groups are now places that can be free forums online, in person, or via zoom that link together a group of people who are in the same position as you.
This kind of support group allows you to be in the company of people who are experiencing the same feelings and emotions as you, and it’s more than acceptable if you wish to share your thoughts and feelings, or you choose not to; there will be no judgment either way.
Sometimes just listening or reading something that someone else has shared can be more than helpful to help you with your grieving, and appreciating the fact that you are not alone can provide a great deal of comfort in your darker emotional times.
Here are the top 5 suggestions for support groups that accept any level of engagement but have no judgment if that is none at all.
- Rainbowbridge.com Forum
- Healing Hearts on Facebook
An in-person or virtual support group can be a huge benefit in helping the healing after losing a pet.
Plant An “Honour” Tree/Bush
Depending on the kind of animal you had loved and lost, it might be appropriate to plant a memorial tree or a bush in their honour, to memorialise them, remember who they were to you personally, and create a place to go to remember them.
Your pet may likely have had a favourite spot in the garden, while on their walks or indeed a place they always used to look at from the windowsill, and this would be the perfect designated spot to plant a tree or a bush that can be devoted to their memory that will grow year after year in remembrance.
Losing a pet will never remove their favorite spot from your memory, and it may also be possible to get a plant or tree with the same name as your pet, or you can find a favourite tree or bush and have a small renaming ceremony when it is planted.
Some common remembrance plants, bushes, and trees include:
- Ornamental Bonsai Trees
- Willow Trees
- Fruit Bushes
- Cherry Blossom Trees
Keeping Their Ashes Close To You
Some people find that keeping the ashes of their beloved pet close to them brings them comfort and helps them to remember the companionship they had from them when they were together.
These Days, it is really easy to make this happen in 2 main ways, and the one you choose is such a personal choice.
- Their Ashes In Resin
Resin art is incredibly popular right now, and it is a fantastic way to keep your pet’s ashes close to you all the time.
The most popular resin option is to have the ashes of your pet combined with the resin and made into a small and decorative frame, so you can then mount a picture of your pet within the very personal frame.
Having something physical gives you the knowledge that they are always with you as you look at their picture.
- Their Ashes Into Jewellery
Having the ashes of a beloved pet turned into a beautiful piece of jewellery is becoming a more and more popular option to keep your lost pet close to you.
The process is very simple and thoughtful, making sure that a small portion of your pet’s ashes are kept safely in dignified circumstances until it is time to pop their ashes into a piece of jewellery that you have chosen to remember them.
You could choose any piece of jewellery available, such as a necklace to keep them close to your heart, or a simple bangle or ring, so you know that they are always with you.
Having the ashes of a loved pet turned into something physical you can always keep looking at and keep close to you can bring an immense amount of comfort and security when you feel overwhelmed at the loss. Having something you can see and touch is sometimes a great way to heal the sadness.
Keep To Your Pets Schedules and Routines.
At the very beginning of grief, you feel a loss that cannot be filed or replaced by anything other than the pet you have already lost.
Your pet was likely to have a routine, and this would have been something you had developed together as a unit or amongst your family.
One of the best things to do in the early stages of grief is to keep to that routine because losing that too would upset an already terrible situation some more.
So, when it’s time to walk, go for that walk. If you had designated feeding times, make sure you stick to those feeding times yourself, and maybe even prepare them a little something to make the loss seem a little less prominent.
If your pet had a designated space or a favourite toy or blanket, make sure you keep those things close and safe, and if they had a specific time to play with them or lay down for sleep, make sure you keep those times in your schedule to at least sit and reflect on your pet and understand your feelings around losing a pet.
Losing a pet can be a really traumatic period of time, and you can feel so many emotions and feelings that can be the first time you understand what grief is and how it feels to lose something close to you.
You can do many practical things to remember and memorialise your beloved pet, from talking on forums and virtual reading online of others’ peoples’ experiences and gaining comfort from knowing you are not alone in your grief.
By making a small memorial for your pet can also be incredibly healing and will create a place you can go to remember the times you had and what they meant to you.
For the ultimate memorial to keep your pet safe and close forever, you can have their ashed set in a resin frame or in a piece of stunning jewellery so they can be with you forevermore.
Losing a pet is not easy, and grief can be even more challenging.
But with these helpful and practical ways to heal from losing a pet, we hope you can smile someday soon.