Given time, healing will occur for the grieving owner. However, there are several things you can do to help facilitate the healing process:
- Give yourself permission to grieve. Only YOU know what your pet meant to you.
- Memorialize your pet. This makes the loss real, helps with closure and draws in social support. It also allows you to express your feelings, pay tribute and reflect.
- Surround yourself with people who understand your loss. Let others care for you. Take advantage of support resources for bereaved pet owners.
- Be patient with yourself. Do not let others dictate how long mourning should last.
- Learn all you can about the grief process. This will help you realize what you are experiencing is normal.
- Give yourself permission to backslide. The grieving will dissipate and your life will be "normal" again. Be aware that holidays, smells, sounds or words may trigger feelings.
- Accept the feelings that come with grief. Express them through talking, writing, singing and/or drawing.
- Get lots of rest, good nutrition and exercise.
- Indulge yourself in small pleasures.