Dealing with the loss of a pet can be an incredibly difficult time for you and your family. From your partner to your children, to your own parents, everyone will process the loss differently. So, how can you help your entire family with this? How can you make sure that you yourself have time to grieve and process. This guide aims to help with this and give you some tips on helping the entire family deal with the loss of a pet.
Many psychologists and specialists in this area say the same thing about explaining the death to children. They insist that honesty is imperative and that you must also be very clear about what has happened. There is no use in using euphemisms or dancing around the issue because this can cause confusion. Be sure that your child understands that ‘lost’ doesn’t mean they might be coming back. If your pet has been dealing with health issues for some time, be sure that you also explain to your children that they are no longer feeling any pain.
Finding a way to memorialize your pet can also help every member of the family get closure on the loss. There are a number of ways you can do this. The traditional way it to bury your pet in your back garden, or another outdoor space closeby your home. A tombstone, a tree or a plant can mark the spot. Pet cremation is now also a popular option and allows to keep your pets ashes. From here there are a number of options for you and your family to discuss. You can turn your pets ashes to diamond items, such as a piece of jewellery. You may be surprised just how many options are available to you in this respect. You can pick the colour and even the cut of the diamond, so it becomes exactly the item that you want.
Whenever and however you decide to memorialize your pet, also use this time to express your feelings verbally. Go round the family and give everybody an opportunity to speak. Encourage children to verbalise how they are feeling by setting a good example. Sharing a favourite memory of your pet, and expressing how much you will miss them, is a popular format for this. Afterwards, a sense of peace and finality can be achieved.
For many animal-loving families, getting a new pet might be an early consideration. However, when families are ready to take this step can vary dramatically. Whatever you do, don’t make any decisions in a rush. Getting a new pet too soon will cause problems with your own grieving process. It is also not fair on your new pet, as you may not be able to give them the attention and affection they deserve. Explain to younger family members that you are not replacing their old pet. Instead, explain it like you are getting a new friend. Liken it to their friendships at school. They make new friends even though they still love and care for their old friends. A new pet should be regarded in the same way.