Saying Goodbye to My Dog: The Guide to Grief

It's going to hurt—a lot. But here are some things to remember.

gustavo ramirez/Getty Images
gustavo ramirez/Getty Images

By nblondin

I have had the misfortune of having to say goodbye to three dogs in my life. And, to be completely honest, it never gets any easier. Dogs are our best friends and siblings. Even the thought of having to say goodbye to another dog makes my heart ache. Nobody wants to have to say goodbye to a family member like that. The feeling of losing a pet is inexplicably devastating. It hurts and, to me, it hurts more when you have another dog who wanders around your home looking for their sibling.

If you are missing your beloved furry friend, here are a few things that might help.

First of all, remember that the grieving process is different for everybody. It is a gradual process that can not be forced or rushed. It will take time and that’s OK. Be sure not to let anybody tell you what you should be feeling. Your grief is your own and don’t let anybody tell you that you should move on or “get over it.”

Feeling sad, shocked or angry is completely normal. You are not weak and your feelings are not being misplaced. Do not feel ashamed of what you’re feeling. Look after yourself. Take care of your mental and physical needs. Eat healthy, sleep properly, exercise. Do what you can to raise endorphin levels. It’S a very difficult time for you and doing things that make you happy will lessen the pain you feel.

Try not to suppress your grief. It will only make it worse in the long run. It could end up affecting your relationships later on because you never allowed yourself time to grieve. And, yes I realize that that sounds ridiculous but repressing grief of any kind can negatively affect your relationships and interpersonal skills. We, as people, need to grieve anything and everything our minds decide we do.

Try to maintain your normal routine. Especially if you have someone relying on you, like a surviving pet. Pets can feel loss and can get confused by the loss and sudden disappearance of their sibling. Pets can also become distressed by your sorrow. Keeping a normal routine helps you from falling into a funk.

Experiencing any amount of loss is heartbreaking and can be a horrific time in your life. Doing everything you can to grieve in your own way can be a very difficult task. Grief is a very personal experience and is different for everyone. Don’t let anyone invalidate your grief, ever.

Originally published at vinazine.com

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