The loss of a beloved pet
By: William M. Mingus, III
As much as I love writing stories each week to entertain and inform, sometimes life can throw you a curve ball. Being a pet lover is a blessing and a curse. We get to laugh and play with them and they in return give us their unconditional love, but we also must deal with the reality that one day we will lose them. Time for some therapy.
It is natural to feel devastated by feelings of grief and sadness. While some people may not understand the depth of feelings you had for your pet, you should never feel guilty about grieving for an animal friend. There are healthy ways to cope with your loss, comfort yourself and begin the process of moving on.
Set aside time to grieve. Give ourselves time to feel, experience, and let the emotions we are experiencing release at regular intervals along our journey through grief and on a daily basis in the beginning. Otherwise, you might find yourself stuffing your emotions which can cause more pain down the road.
Reflect on the life shared between yourself and your beloved pet. Active reflections can be hard. When we take the time to purposely reflect in this manner, try to focus on what positive memories were shared.
Maintain a routine for your living pets as best you can. Animals thrive on routine and while we grieve our pets experience the loss of their companions too. Routines allow us a sense of structure and familiarity, although the first few times can be painful, these immediate triggers can reduce over time.
Memorialize the memory and love of your pet. Saying “see you later” to ones we love can be a crucial step in moving through the grief experience. Sometimes we don’t always get to say goodbye and not having that closure can leave an empty feeling. By memorializing your pet, it gives you some form of closure. There is never a wrong way to memorialize the beautiful experiences and life that was shared.
One thing that always gives me a sense of comfort is a poem, no one knows who wrote it but it brings comfort in times of loss.
The Rainbow Bridge
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together...
In memory of our beloved Pearl.