4 Ways to Grieve Your Dog After They've Passed | The Trupanion Blog
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4 ways to grieve your dog after they’re gone

Old dog portraitWhenever we lose a friend, family member, or someone close to us, we often go through a grieving period, which is generally met with understanding, sympathy, and comforting condolences to help us grieve. However, when a dog is at the center of loss, mixed feelings can emerge. Sometimes those sweet and sympathetic motions instead come out as unemotional responses like, “you can get another one” or “it was a dog, you should feel better about it by now.”

Ignore these insensitive remarks because our pets’ provide unconditional love, undivided attention, and an undying urge to be there for us. The emotional connection that develops over your dog’s lifespan is indescribable. It often can’t be replaced. In some cases, the loss of our dog or other pet can be debilitating, bringing about the same feelings of losing a close relative or family member. These feelings can leave the owner in complete distraught, which can lead to other medical and mental issues for the owner.

It is for these reasons, that properly grieving for your dog is essential. Here are just a few ways you can do so in a healthy manner.

Keep on keeping on

During these trying times, it is easy just to let everything go. This can mean a number of things that range from forgetting to pay bills to practicing poor hygiene and eating habits, leading to bad health. Taking the time each day to remember your pet is perfectly okay, but at the end of the day, there are still others that depend on you to stay strong and to keep on keeping on.

It can be hard to pull yourself out of the pits and back into the light with a positive perspective on life, but we have to start somewhere. Keeping our normal schedules afloat is the key starting place when trying to move on without forgetting your beloved dog.

Practice segmented dedication

“Practice segmented dedication” sounds scarier than it really is, but it is more or less a means of setting aside a block of time each day when you can solely focus on the memory of your pet, allowing you proper time to grieve. Do not rush your time, but at the same time, you cannot allow it to consume your every waking moment either. It’s hard, but the harsh reality is that the world continues to spin, and businesses continue to need their employees to show up for work, not to mention landlords need their rent, so keeping up with your usual means of survival is pretty much essential. Compartmentalize time to grieve, while also allowing yourself enough time to stay on top of everything. It’s tough, but you can do it.

Find a way to remember them

Nowadays, the way we use, reuse, and find different ways of using ordinary items for extraordinary task is the norm, and when we lose a loved one that is close to us, sometimes creating something out of memory and love can help reduce the pain and keep the memory of your furry friend alive forever. Some may braid an old frayed leash into a keychain or bracelet, while others may turn to services providers like “Heart in Diamond,” can actually turn your dog’s ashes into diamonds, creating a truly memorable piece of jewelry that will allow your pet’s spirit to continue to go wherever you go.

Photobooks, shadowboxes, and tangible erections can instil the lasting memory of your pet around your home and living space. Even though they are no longer with us in physical life, we know they are with us in spirit. During the grieving process, fashioning a piece of memorabilia out of their old belongings or utilizing other resources can immortalize your pets forever.

When it gets bad, seek someone you can talk to

Even following the strictest process to try to deal with the loss of your dog may not be enough. Sometimes you just need a shoulder to cry on, whether it be to recount all the times you and your pet played or to just simply needing the warmth and comfort of another person to help you through this dark time.

If you’ve set time aside, made something to remember them by, and you are still finding difficulties in handling the loss of your pet, then it is time to reach out. Reach out to who? In cases like these, friends and family members make the best grieving companions, mainly because they already know you and of your pet and understand the connection the two of you shared. This step can round the entire experience off, finally allowing you to move forward, but also being able to enjoy the memory of your pet without breaking down.

Don’t ignore grief

While it is true that everyone has different ways of grieving or dealing with the loss of your beloved pet, but just ignoring the fact can have irreparable repercussions that can lead to more significant difficulties later down the road. Make sure you take that time to properly commemorate your dog, pet or loved one’s passing in a healthy manner to ensure a prosperous growth for the future.

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