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IS LOSING A PET MORE DIFFICULT THAN LOSING A PERSON?

Updated: 13 hours ago


Man in Stratford, Ontario, smiling gently while holding his dog's face, capturing a moment of love perfect for a pet memorial.


That depends. Losing a beloved pet can be an incredibly challenging experience. Clients have often shared they have found the loss of a pet more difficult than the loss of a human loved one, and there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, many people find the loss of a pet more difficult than losing a friend or family member, and there are several reasons why this mat be the case. Here are some reasons why pet loss can feel so devastating and how we can approach it with self-compassion and resilience.


UNCONDITIONAL LOVE

One of the most beautiful aspects of our relationship with our pets is the pure, unconditional love they offer us. They don’t judge us based on our flaws or mistakes; they accept us for who we are. When we lose that source of unwavering love, it can leave a profound void in our lives.


DAILY COMPANIONSHIP

Pets often become an integral part of our daily routines, from feeding and walking them to cuddling on the couch. Their presence brings comfort and stability to our lives. When they are gone, the disruption to our daily rhythm can amplify our sense of loss.


EMOTIONAL CONNECTION

Our pets often provide us with emotional support in ways that are difficult to describe. They seem to understand our moods and offer comfort without needing words. This deep emotional connection can make their loss feel like losing a trusted companion.


ANTICIPATION

While we know that our pets have shorter lifespans than humans, it doesn't make their passing any easier. Anticipatory grief may arise as we watch them age, but when the moment comes, the pain can still feel unexpected and overwhelming. Nothing can truly prepare us for such a profound loss.


FEELING ALONE

Grieving the loss of a pet can sometimes be complicated by a lack of societal recognition. Some people may not understand the depth of our loss, which can make it challenging to find the support and validation we need.


But there are things we can do to cope, embrace grief, and find healing:


ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR GRIEF

Your feelings are valid, and it's important to allow yourself to grieve in whatever way feels right for you.


FIND SUPPORT

Share your feelings with friends, family, or support groups who understand the significance of your loss.


CREATE A TRIBUTE

Honour your pet's memory by creating a special tribute, such as planting a tree or creating a photo album.


SELF CARE

Take care of your physical and emotional well-being during this time. Engage in activities that bring you comfort and peace.


PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT

If your grief feels overwhelming, seeking guidance from a counselor or therapist who specializes in pet loss can be beneficial.


Remember that grieving is a personal journey, and there is no right or wrong way to navigate it. Take the time you need to heal, and remember that your pet's love will always be a part of you. Your connection with them is unique, and the impact they had on your life will forever hold a special place in your heart.


Please reach out for more information and helpful resources.

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