After the death of my cat Dusty last year it really struck me hard. Perhaps it is the fact that I had her for almost 14 years or maybe because, to me, she was the perfect cat who happened to get cancer and I didn’t see that coming. No matter the reason why I think it was so hard; one fact I know is that the amount of heartache I felt matched the amount of love we shared. I think that’s why it was and is still so hard. The grief comes in waves and does not end but I have made progress. So here are the top 8 resources I used to help me in the healing process after pet loss. These resources helped me and I hope they can help you as well.
8 Resources to Healing
1. Family /Friends Support
Whenever you go through tough times, it is very important to have support, particularly from friends and family. While experiencing pet loss I have found that the best support comes from those people who have pets and have also experienced pet loss. I remember when I was grieving days after Dusty passed, I encountered co-workers who asked, “So when are you getting another cat?” Those remarks came across so insensitive (even though I know they didn’t mean harm). However, a comment as such let me know that to them, a cat or dog is just an animal and not viewed like a member of the family like I viewed my pets. I say all this to say that finding like-minded supportive friends and family helps in the healing process.
2. My faith
I’m a Christian and although I don’t attend church every weekend I do hold principles dear like integrity, honesty, unconditional love and prayer. As I mentioned in one of my recent posts about animals and the afterlife, I have full faith in God and love. Love endures all things, and never ends. I think love is shared not only between people but also between our furry friends. Pets are the perfect example of what God’s love is- unconditional. Experiencing that and recalling fond memories helps comfort my heart during the grieving process. Additionally, I do believe in the power of prayer in tough times. I have found it to not only be comforting but I have also been blessed in many ways with the good Lord answering my prayers.
3. You Tube
One of the resources I used to get validation for some of my feelings of depression, sadness and odd experiences I discovered on YouTube. I was on a quest to find people who could relate to my experiences. In an effort to find answers I discovered Brent Atwater an animal medium. Yes. You read that right…animal medium. After watching a few of her videos and listening to her explanations of odd things that can happen after pets pass away, it gave me the validation I was looking for regarding my own strange experiences. You can view her videos for yourself. Brent Atwater has dozens of videos explaining experiences of other pet owners who have experienced pet loss. She does a great job of covering a variety of topics such as purpose our pets have in our lives, signs our pets give us after they transition and ways to find support. She also has a Facebook page where you can join a community of others experiencing pet loss.
4. Support Forums
The following are additional pet loss websites with forums you can share your stories and experiences with others who are going through pet loss. Rainbow Bridge has great poetry meant to give pet parents comfort as well. I love the arts and poetry. Reading the words of other pet parents expression of love and gratitude for their furry friends gave me great comfort.
The Ralph Site is a non-profit organization that covers a variety of topics including everything from pet loss, to memorial artworks to shopping. They also have a Facebook community for support. Check out the hyperlinks below.
5. Animal Rescue Site
One of the ways in which I remember my pets is by purchasing items that remind me of them. One of my family members gave me a sterling silver ring as a gift purchased from this site in remembrance of Dusty. It was very thoughtful. Animal Rescue Site has a plethora of items from clothing, to mugs, and jewelry for all pet lovers. A portion of every purchase goes to feeding animals in need. One of my favorite personal purchases is a set of paw print earrings I wear almost every day. I love them.
6. Nook Books
If you are like me and appreciate some good reading material. Here are three e-books that I found both entertaining and comforting.
Famous psychic Sylvia Browne shares insights as to how animals serve a purpose for our lives as pet owners. She also discusses the afterlife and the ways in which our pets love and comfort us in the present and in death.
· A Letter to My Cat (Page Perfect NOOK Book) by Lisa Erspamer
This e-book had me laughing and crying and everything in between. This clever book contains letters written by celebrity pet parents who have shared their stories by writing love letters in honor of their pets who have passed on.
This book covers what happens when our pets dies. Specifically it covers tips for dealing with feelings after pet loss, like feelings of guilt or ways in which people react after pet loss. It gives tips to help during the grieving process.
I previously shared my blog post about turning your pain into purpose by volunteering. I’m so glad I decided to do so. Volunteering helped with my grieving process by getting me out of the house and interacting with other pet lovers. After working with Kitty Kind, a no-kill adoption organization, it really warms my heart whenever we get notified a new pet parent has adopted a new cat. That means another life saved off the streets and another chance for a loving bond for a family to be made. Although there are thousands of dogs and cats that are homeless, each success story is a win. Helping others helps give purpose to the pain and helps the heart heal a little more each week. Try volunteering at your local animal shelter. You’d be surprised how helping animals in need feeds your soul in a positive way and aids in the healing process too.
This last “resource” doesn’t require any effort or money, just patience. They say time heals all wounds. I would like to say this is 100% true, but grief comes in waves. You will have highs and lows. It never disappears but there are moments you feel much more optimistic than others. I find that the more time passes, my good days far outweigh the sad days. As a pet parent in the grieving process, try to remember to take it one day at a time. Things will get easier. Remember no matter how much time passes, that love never dies and that knowledge brings me comfort.
Those are my top 8 resources to healing after pet loss. These resources greatly helped me and I hope they can help bring you comfort as well. Be sure to share with other grieving pet parents too.
Comment and share. What do you think of this list? Do you have any alternative ways to help the healing process after pet loss?