Helping Loved Ones through Pet Loss Grief
Click here for our Pet Headstone Pictures
When a friend or loved one has lost a beloved pet, most any caring person’s natural reaction is to want to say or do something to bring comfort. But the words do not always come naturally. And, in fact, the wrong words can even cause unintended strains on relationships within a family.
So experts offer some good advice for helping loved ones through what, for many people, can be the most traumatic experience of their lives.
The first thing to remember is that all people grieve differently. So, no matter how nicely you say it, telling someone to “just get over” the loss of a pet, is usually not helpful, experts say.
It’s natural for a person to feel upset over the loss of a pet even months or years after the death. Rather than to keep these feelings pent up, it’s important for the grieving pet owner to simply vent. Listening without comment, then, is probably the most valuable gift one can give.
Being non-judgmental and open to all reactions – no matter how unusual they may be at first glance – is crucial to helping a friend cope with the grieving process. Even if your friend or family member appears to be “over-doing” the grief of a lost pet, the best course is to just listen, experts say. The grief will eventually heal itself.
Avoid the temptation to psychoanalyze a friend who is stricken with grief over the loss of a pet. The various “stages” of grief are much written about, and they apply to pet loss as well as to the loss of humans. But even experts have trouble telling when a person is in one “stage” and out of another. To complicate matters, the stages often overlap, and all people do not necessarily go through all of them.
So trying to react to a friend’s grief based upon a generic prescription for dealing with certain stages is risky business at best. A small miscalculation regarding just exactly which stage of grief a person is in can lead to body language and comments that may only add to a friend’s pain. In summary, experts say, you should simply let a person grieve naturally for the loss of his or her beloved pet. Any type of behavior from your friend is natural and helpful. Avoid judgmental references and, when you can, re-direct any judgmental thoughts you discover in your mind. Just letting a grieving person cope with his or her pain in such a simple, natural manner will do amazing wonders for the lives of those in grief over a lost pet.
See all your Pet Headstone Picture choices
MEMORIALS.com: Your Premier Online Source for all your Funeral and Memorial needs. We live up to our name and reputation our staff is standing by to assist you, all products with No Sales Tax & Free Delivery.