Coping with pet loss during the holidays
It’s never easy to say goodbye to our heart’s companion. How could it be? If we have loved well, then undoubtedly we will need to grieve well.
For many of us, a pet is not “just a dog” or “just a cat” but rather a beloved member of our family. It’s natural to feel devastated by feelings of grief and sadness when a cherished pet passes. The pain of loss can often feel overwhelming and trigger all sorts of agonizing and difficult emotions. We should not be ashamed of how we feel or believe that it’s not appropriate to grieve for an animal friend.
As a society, we do not recognize how traumatic pet loss can be and how much it can impair our emotional and physical health. Broken heart syndrome is a real medical condition and when the response to grief is severe, the person can even exhibit symptoms that mimic a heart attack.
Recovering from pet loss, as in all forms of grief, requires us to recognize our emotional wounds and find ways to deal with them.
We should not let anyone tell us how to feel or even tell ourselves how to feel. Our grief is our own. It’s okay to be angry, to cry or not to cry and to move on when we are ready.
There are many suggestions and processes for dealing with grief. Creating a legacy is one of them. This means sharing the memories we have enjoyed with our pet and celebrating the life of our dear furry friend.
If your grief is taking your breath away and your broken heart feels like it may never mend, read Annette Bridges’ “A Dachshund Tale ~ Lessons Learned From My Dog” and begin to ponder the ways your life has been touched by your sweet one. You may discover a powerful tool to help comfort your grief and a way to keep your furry loved one unforgettable in your heart as the jewel they will forever be.
“My forever puppy” is the special term of endearment the author said to her precious miniature dachshund every morning of her long life. This book was conceived during those first sorrowful days following her dear dog’s passing, spurred by the author’s deep desire to forever engrave upon her heart what her dog’s life meant to her.
The author invites any others who are grieving the loss of a beloved fur baby to share the journey with her and consider the meaning and impact of their precious one on their life. While the author can’t promise this process will completely ease your hurting, she believes it can help you begin to turn your sadness into a forever celebration of your sweet little angel. And eventually, it may turn your tears of mourning into smiles of remembrance.
Annette Bridges is the author and founder of Ranch House Press who has published numerous books, coloring books and journals for women and children. She wrote “A Dachshund Tale ~ Lessons Learned From My Dog” as part of her own grieving process following the heartbreaking loss of her 17-year old miniature dachshund, Lady. Before writing books, this former public school and homeschool educator spent a decade writing instructive and light-hearted columns for Texas newspapers, parenting magazines, and spirituality websites. Annette lives on a North Texas cattle ranch with her husband John and lots of cows.