Who Can I Talk to About My Pet Grief?
we lose a human family member, there are many places to turn for
support. Friends and family gather to offer words of comfort and
support; grief counselors can help us work through the stages of grief
and talk to us about our conflicting feelings. Grief is acceptable
and natural; it's seen as a necessary part of loss. But it's not always
easy to find that same level of compassionate support in a world where
many people see our pet as just a dog or only a cat. Even
well-intentioned friends and family may not understand the bond between
you and the animal in your life; they may tell you to get over it and
encourage you to move on before you're ready.
Finding a Support Network
After the loss of a pet, it's not uncommon
to grieve as though you've lost a human member of your family.
Although not everyone understands the emptiness and sadness that can
follow the loss of an animal companion, there are many resources
available to help grieving pet owners cope with the loss of a beloved
- Pet loss counselors -
Sometimes, it helps to just talk about the loss of your pet with
someone who understands. Pet loss counselors offer caring, sympathetic
support to people who have lost their pets. Many pet loss counselors
offer one-on-one counseling sessions by phone or in person, and they
understand how painful it can be to lose a pet.
- Pet loss support groups
- A support group offers grieving pet owners the opportunity to meet
and connect with other people who have recently lost a pet. Pet loss
support groups usually hold regularly scheduled meetings, in person or
online, and many are facilitated by a veterinarian or trained counselor.
The pain of losing a pet won't go away
instantly; it's important to give yourself time to grieve and accept
your loss. But, with a little support - in person or online - you may
find that it's easier to cope.
- Pet loss message boards, forums, and chat rooms
- Many pet owners turn to online support after the loss of a pet.
Like a support group, message boards and chat rooms are a way to
express your feelings of grief in a supportive environment. Users can
create a profile and chat with other grieving pet owners across the
country. Some chat rooms are even hosted by veterinarians or pet loss
counselors. Additionally, many online pet loss forums feature pet
memorial pages where grieving owners can post tributes to their lost
pets in the form of pictures, poems, or obituaries.