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> The Five Stages Of Grief From The Death Of A Pet
LS Support
post Jun 25 2010, 06:20 PM
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Preparation and learning to cope with loss...what you can expect to go through.

The First Stage: Denial

Denial is the initial response of many pet owners when confronted with a pet's terminal condition or sudden death. This rejection seems to be the mind's buffer against a sharp emotional blow.

The Second Stage: Bargaining
This stage is well documented in the human grieving process. Many times, faced with impending death, an individual may "bargain" - offering some condition if the loved one is spared. The hope that a pet might recover can foster reactions like, "If Sam recovers, I'll never skip his regular walk . . . never put him in a kennel when I go on vacation, . . . never. . . "

The Third Stage: Anger
Recognizing anger in the grief process is seldom a problem; dealing with anger however, often is. Anger can be obvious, as in hostility or aggression. On the other hand, anger often turns inward, emerging as guilt. Many veterinarians have heard the classic anger response, "What happened? I thought you had everything under control and now you've killed my dog!" Another standard: "You never really cared about Rover. He was just another fee to you, and I'm the one who has lost my pet!"

Such outbursts help relieve immediate, frustrations, though often at the expense of someone else. More commonly, pet owners dwell on the past. The number of "If only . . ." regrets are endless: "If only I hadn't left the dog at my sister's house . . ." "If only I had taken Kitty to the veterinarian a week ago . . ." Whether true or false, such recriminations and fears do little to relieve anger and are not constructive. Here, your veterinarian's support is particularly helpful.

The Fourth Stage: Grief
This is the stage of true sadness. The pet is gone, along with the guilt and anger, and only an emptiness remains. It is now that the support of family and friends is most important and sadly, the most difficult to find. A lack of support prolongs the grief stage. Therefore, the pet owner may want to seek some help from their veterinarian, pet cemetarian, or from a professional counselor.

It is normal, and should be acceptable, to display grief when a companion animal dies. It is helpful, too, to recognize that other pet owners have experienced similar strong feelings, and that you are not alone in this feeling of grief. Don't ever feel embarrassed or ashamed. Your pain is very real and your loss a heavy one.

The Final Stage: Resolution
All things come to an end - even grieving. As time passes, the sadness evolves into memories of joyful times. And, more often than not, part of the remedy lies in a new pet, a new companion animal to fill the need for a pet in the household. Keep in mind, you're not replacing your beloved friend. Nothing can ever do that. You're filling a very deep void in your heart with new love for a new companion. It's time to complete the healing.


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janika
post Jun 26 2010, 02:15 AM
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Thanks once again LS Support.
That is very true and wonderfully put. It is something that I know sadly from experience, and I experienced every single one of those stages. I can honestly say that I am now at the 'resolution' stage almost 10 months later, and I think I have been in this stage for a couple of months now. Remembering Noushka with such warm, happy memories now, the way I can think of my Tasha and all my other 'Angels' It does come, and yes I also have a new fur baby as you know and I do love her , our hearts can love again. Please give yourselves time to work through the 'stages' at your own pace, and remember that our darling 'Angel' pets will always be there in our hearts and souls, and they would want us to think of them in a 'Happy' way. No way would they want to cause permanent harm to us. They enrich our lives and make us into 'better' people, when we have shared that wonderful 'bond'. Of that I am sure.
Thankyou everyone on here for helping me through my stages. I hope that I can continue to help others.
Hugs
Jan and my Angels and Pixie x
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soojung
post Jun 27 2010, 01:28 PM
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QUOTE (janika @ Jun 26 2010, 12:15 AM) *
Thanks once again LS Support.
That is very true and wonderfully put. It is something that I know sadly from experience, and I experienced every single one of those stages. I can honestly say that I am now at the 'resolution' stage almost 10 months later, and I think I have been in this stage for a couple of months now. Remembering Noushka with such warm, happy memories now, the way I can think of my Tasha and all my other 'Angels' It does come, and yes I also have a new fur baby as you know and I do love her , our hearts can love again. Please give yourselves time to work through the 'stages' at your own pace, and remember that our darling 'Angel' pets will always be there in our hearts and souls, and they would want us to think of them in a 'Happy' way. No way would they want to cause permanent harm to us. They enrich our lives and make us into 'better' people, when we have shared that wonderful 'bond'. Of that I am sure.
Thankyou everyone on here for helping me through my stages. I hope that I can continue to help others.
Hugs
Jan and my Angels and Pixie x


Janika,
Thank you for sharing your experience w/ this. It really helps to hear from people like you who have BEEN THERE and can honestly say that things CAN change, that you can now think of Noushka and Tasha in a way that brings warmth and happiness instead of unbearable longing. Thank you so much for your generosity in sticking around to help others even though you yourself have already reached a "good place" in thinking about your loved ones.
soojung
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Matts
post Dec 11 2013, 12:02 PM
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I not only think but i know i am still in the grief stage as its only been a few days(this past sunday) since i found out one of our 2 cats passed on. It hurts more than any way i could possibly describe; as we all though of him as a member of the family through and through. Oddly enough though; today it seems i am feeling a little better; but that can still change on a moments notice; as its only been a few days. Ive been keeping myself busy with other things so i have not had a chance to really shed more "tears"; and to think about it. Its been a very long time since i have had to deal with the loss of a pet; as the last time was when the dog we had passed on a number of years ago; and i think of him too still quite often; but more so good times because the grief from that one has worn off. I know i just need to give it time; because the pain will lessen over time; but right now it is still too fresh to let go of which is why I have been trying to keep myself busy.
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LoveMyMickey
post Dec 12 2013, 07:16 PM
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It will be 3 years next Feb. since we lost Mickey and sometimes I am in the Resolution stage where I think of the happy times and the funny things he did. Then suddenly I'm back in the Grief stage where I feel sad and empty. But the Grief stage doesn't last as long as it used to. When I start thinking about the day he passed, I quickly change my thinking to the happy and fun times....I agree, getting another pet helps. I remember when we got Mickey he helped with the grief of our other little dog, Annie. It's kind of strange, but I find myself thinking of Annie too, with tears in my eyes. I'll always miss and love them.


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"Love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation."
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