Are you recovering from grief after the loss of one of your animals? Do you find your day-to-day life hijacked as grief unexpectedly engulfs you? Maybe you been through this before, but it never gets easy!
Here are a few ideas for recovery.
1 – Admit it! Their loss hit you hard!
Maybe it hit you harder than when you lost one of your (human) relatives.
It’s OK! Truth is, many of our animals have done a superb job sharing unconditional love and providing companionship. Humans could take a few lessons in that area, me included. Give yourself permission to feel the depth of your grief without judgment. Feel the enormous loss. Your grief honors your animal.
2 – Forgive yourself for sending them across the Rainbow Bridge
If you made the decision with love and concern, your animal holds no grudges. They understand now that they’re on the other side. It’s not too late to tell them why you let them go (I recommend not doing it at Starbucks). Speak what’s on your heart and feel their love and understanding, because it’s real.
3 – Find a kindred soul or group to talk with
Maybe you have a great animal lovin’ friend you can talk to. Maybe search for pet loss grief groups through local shelters or rescue groups.
Share how you loved being greeted every day; why they made you laugh when they found a ridiculous sleeping position; how a certain bark/meow/neigh or look communicated so much! And even share what drove you nuts. Because now you miss it so much. As you remember them, tap into your love. Your love is eternal. Seriously, you get to keep it for eternity. Anchor into that love whenever your grief shows up.
4 – Create a shrine for your pet
Find a place to lovingly collect objects that remind you of them. You’ll feel like they still have a place in your household. And it’s another way of honoring their memory. People include ashes, collars, pictures, favorite toys.
5 – Ask them to visit you
Talk to them. Tell them you want to know they’re OK. Next, look for signs.
Be open to how they show up. They come to us in dreams; jump on our bed and snuggle next to us when we sleep; there’s a bark or meow out of nowhere; or the clicking of nails on a wooden floor; we feel them sitting at our feet; we see a tail in the corner of our eye. It’s not imagination, so enjoy it!
Don’t forget to release your guilt. That’s because the more you release guilt, the easier it is for them to come through. And be willing to move forward from deep grief to sadness and missing them. That helps as well. But please don’t hurry it along. Let it release naturally.
And I’d love to help. I can connect you to your animal and let you have a conversation.