Overcome the death of your pet


Losing your best furry friend, be it can or feline, can be really hard. According to a study by the department of animal sciences at the University of Hawaii (United States), 30% of owners feel pain six months or more, while for 12% it is a very traumatic event in their lives.

For the investigation, they interviewed 106 pet owners in a veterinary clinic, of which 52% had lost one or more pets due to natural causes and 37% had been forced to sacrifice them due to illness. Begoña Elizalde, coordinating psychologist of the grieving and loss working group of the Official Col·legi of Psychology of Catalonia (COPC), considers that it greatly influences the way you lose your pet when it comes to bringing your duel.

“Sacrifice them is very painful, due to the guilty feeling for making tremendous decisions and the distressing images that we must witness. While when it is sudden, for example, an outrage, you can not prepare and you are in a state of shock, ”says the expert.

It also points out the trance that goes through when the animal dies at home. On the one hand, it has positive effects for the dog or cat because it is in a familiar and familiar environment where it receives affection, and on the other, you can say goodbye to it. But it is not always easy, so the dilemma of whether you want to face this situation or if you prefer that another "solve the problem" appears because it is impossible for you emotionally.

30% of owners feel pain for six months or more, while for 12% it is a very traumatic event in their lives ”

Many who have had a pet know that they can be similar to the loss of a relative or close friend. “Their death implies a deep and painful duel, due to the great company they offer us, to the close bond that is established between them and us and to the love we come to profess them,” says Elizalde.

In fact, the magazine Perspectives in Psychiatric Care noted that this link can affect physical and mental health and reaffirms that the grief reaction after death "in many ways is comparable to that experienced with a family member." They say that in the contemporary era there has been an increase in families or individuals who choose not to have children, but adopt deep relationships with the animals they care for.

For this reason, his death may mean one of the most difficult moments in life of a person, although at the social level it is not recognized as the same emotional and emotional impact that is lived with that of a human being.

Elizalde points out that still lack sensitivity to these issues, nevertheless, sentence that we live in a very hedonistic society that flees from pain and that only proclaims philosophy Carpe Diem, something that is not beneficial since suffering is part of life.

The link between owner and pet can affect physical and mental health, since the grieving reaction after death may be comparable to that experienced with a family member. ”

But how to face the duel? The expert says they are the same four phases what happens when someone close dies:

1. Denial, where we have not yet been able to face it, but the psychologist considers it beneficial to get rid of or keep our pet's toys and objects. He also believes that it should be respected if the owner needs to deal with other collateral issues to occupy his mind for a while, as well as self-allow yourself.

2. The expression of emotions: sadness, melancholy, anger ... Unless you have been able to watch over him in some way, Elizalde recommends carrying out a farewell ritual, surrounding yourself with friends and being forgiving of tears, in addition to not requiring you to be well when you are not yet. In addition, he believes that if the situation requires it, it may be necessary to ask for a few days at work.

3. The reconstruction, this is when you realize that with the void that has left a lot of daily routines that you were not aware of before have been broken, such as taking your dog for a walk and playing in the park, the moment 'mantita and Netflix 'with your cat ... It's time to create new ones.

4. To relate to the memory of our beloved furry in another way, in a safer and more serene way, so that we go uphill towards recovery and there is only the tremendous affection we felt for them.

Naturally, each one lives them differently and not everyone takes the same time to recover, even some people bet on the adoption of another partner, to which they should not feel bad since they must realize that it is not about ‘replacing it’.

Understand each process as unique

The process of how to overcome the death of your pet it can vary a lot according to the individual circumstances of each pet and family. A natural death is not the same as an induced death, nor are the families that host the animal the same and neither is the animal itself.

The death of a pet can be overcome, fortunately, but it will be very different in each specific case. Nor can the death of a young animal be equal to that of an old animal, the death of a young cat can hurt because we have not been able to accompany him during the time that should have been natural but the death of a very old dog is the pain of having lost a traveling companion who has been with you for many years.

Having been present at the time of your pet's death can also change the evolution of your duel. In any case, next we will give you some tips that will help you overcome this hard moment.

How to overcome the death of your pet

Before the death of a pet many times the environment (which has no pets) conveys the feeling that it is only lawful to cry for a human, this should not be so. The relationship with an animal can be very deep and in the same way a duel must be elaborated:

  • The best way to make a duel is to allow yourself to express everything you feel, cry if you wish or don't express anything if you don't feel like it. Show you how you feel and it is very important to manage your emotions in a healthy way.
  • Express to the people of trust how the relationship with your pet was, what made you learn, when I was with you, how you long for it now. The objective of this is allow you to express your emotions.
  • When you can, you should understand that it is no longer necessary to have in your home the utensils of your dog or cat. You should be able to donate them to other dogs that need it, such as dogs from a shelter, although you don't want to do it, it is important that you do it, you must understand and assimilate the new situation and this is a good way to do it.
  • You can check as many times as you want the photographs you have of your pet, on the one hand this helps you to express what you feel and on the other hand to assimilate the situation, to elaborate the duel and to understand that your animal has>

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    Face the death of a pet

    The emotions that wake up when a pet dies can be quite complicated and difficult to cope with. Most likely, you expect to feel sadness, but you may also experience other emotions. For example, you may get angry when your friends seem not to understand how much it means to you to have lost your pet. Or maybe you feel guilty for not having spent more time with her when she was alive. It is completely normal to feel a wide range of emotions when a pet dies.

    If you are like most people, someone may say, "If it was just an animal!" So, is it normal to have a bad time for the death of a pet? Absolutely normal. In fact, many teenagers have grown up accompanied by their pets and have long been part of their family. As when a family member dies, when a pet dies, people must go through a period of grieving over that loss.

    Some people feel prepared to live with a new pet right away. But there are people who need more time. Sometimes different family members need different time periods to overcome the grieving of the loss. One person may feel prepared to have a new pet from the beginning, but another may take longer. It is important that you take the time you need to overcome the duel and that you respect this process in the other members of your family.

    Face the duel

    The duel can manifest itself in many different ways. There are people who cry a lot. Other people may take some time to assimilate the death of your pet. Some temporarily cease to be interested in the things they used to enjoy and want to spend more time alone. And others prefer to keep the mind occupied so as not to "connect" with the loss. It is also normal to try to avoid those situations that you relate to your pet, such as the park where you walked your dog or the track where you rode your horse.

    In many people, the loss of a pet is their first experience with death. Recognizing and developing our own feelings can be of great help. Talking about the loss is one of the best ways to deal with the death of a loved one, and this is what most people do when they meet after a funeral and share their memories about the deceased. Recognizing and taking on the duel and talking with your friends and family about the death of your pet can help you start feeling a little better.

    There are also other ways to express your feelings and ideas. Putting them in writing in your personal diary or making a scrapbook and memories is something that helps many people. You can also consider the possibility of writing a story or a poem about your pet, drawing a picture or composing a musical piece in his honor. You can also organize a funeral for your pet. There are people who choose to donate to an animal shelter in honor of their pet or to participate in volunteer activities in an animal shelter. All these ideas can help you stay connected to the good and happy moments you lived with your pet.

    Everyone must face the duel at some point in their life. And most people end up overcoming it after a certain time. But if you are stressed or trying to cope with other serious problems at the same time, it is possible that the duel over the death of your pet will overcome you. If your sadness is very intense or you think you are worried about something more than your death, it may be very good for you to speak with a psychologist or professional therapist, who will help you cope with the whole process. It is normal for a death to suggest questions about our own lives but, if you realize that you think too much about death, it is better to talk to someone, preferably with a good professional.

    You will never forget your dear pet. But, with the passage of time, pain and grief will ease. And, when the time comes, you may feel prepared to open your home to a new pet in need of a family that loves it.