Grieving the Loss of your Pet
When a person you love dies, it's natural to feel sorrow, express
grief, and expect friends and family to provide understanding and
Unfortunately, many consider grieving the loss of "just a pet" inappropriate which couldn't be further from the truth.
People love their pets and consider them members of their family; they celebrate their pets' birthdays, confide in their animals,
and carry pictures of them in their wallets.
So, when a beloved pet dies, it's not unusual to feel overwhelmed by the intensity of sorrow.
What Is the Grief Process?
The grief process is as individual as the person, lasting days for
one person or years for another. The process typically begins with
denial, which offers protection until individuals can recognize their
While grief is a personal experience, you need not face loss alone.
Many forms of support are available including pet bereavement
counseling services, pet-loss support hotlines, local or online bereavement groups, books, videos, and magazine articles.
What Can I Do for My Child?
The loss of a pet may be a child's first experience with death. The
child may blame himself, his parents, or the veterinarian for not
saving the pet.
He may also feel guilty, depressed, and frightened that others he loves may be taken away from him.
Trying to protect your child by saying the pet ran away could cause
the child to expect the pet's return and feel betrayed after
discovering the truth. Expressing your own grief may reassure your
child that sadness is okay and help him work through his feelings.
Click here to read the story of the Rainbow Bridge.
Five Ways to Remember Your Pet
1. Hold a memorial service
2. Find a special place for your pet's ashes
3. Create a living memorial
4. Make a scrapbook
5. Write down your feelings
Moira Allen has developped a great brochure that may help you or someone you love. Please click here to download the brochure.