Grief is an inevitable emotion we will all experience at some point in our lives. We are always in some stage of grief actually because grief is about letting go and saying goodbye to people, places and things that we have become attached too. When we form relationships we take the risk of experiencing loss that will be painful. Such is the case with our beloved pet companions as well as our human friends and family. Unless you have a pet and understand the deep and endearing bond that forms, you probably wonder how come that co-worker of yours had to take some time off just because his or her dog just died.
Recently, I have been supporting friends and clients through grief over the illness or death of a beloved pet. Unless someone has a pet, they can’t empathize with just how significant the loss is. We develop special bonds and endearing relationships of unconditional love with our pets. So, when they leave us, which is inevitable, we feel a void in our lives where their physical daily presence once was. Although our pet is free from pain and suffering, once they’ve made their transition over the rainbow bridge, we still have to deal with the loss of their loving companionship and presence in our daily lives. It is an adjustment to get used to that empty space at our feet.
I encourage my friends and clients not to rush through the grieving process. When we grieve the loss of our cherished furry family member we are honoring and respecting their lives and how much they touched us. We are paying KOA tribute to the unconditional love and companionship that they so generously blessed our lives with.
Grief is a way of remembering just how much we loved our pet companion. To the degree that we experience the joy and love that they brought us while they were alive is the equivalent of pain from their departure that we will feel as well. If there was always sunshine and never any rain we would have only deserts. It’s the cycle of life. We accept and honor it by being willing to feel the grief. When we do we allow for more love to enter into our lives in a constant flowing cycle. To shut ourselves off from rescuing or loving another pet because the grief was too heartbreaking to bear restricts our heart’s ability to expand and love even more and greater.
Don’t grieve alone and suffer in silence if it is preventing you from functioning in life. Get support! Find a sympathetic friend or a professional who specializes in grief. Even if it is just for your pet, someone who specializes in grief support will validate and affirm your experience and help you heal through it in a healthy way. That way when you get to the other side of it, you carry with you find memories of your beloved furry companion and are able to move on to love again and again and again with a fearless heart and open mind.
So, celebrate the grief when you have had a courageous enough heart to love and love deeply the precious furry, feathered and scaly companions you have chosen to share your life with! It is a testament to your open and loving heart and makes the world a better place to live in! Your grief honors your love and their lives! Life is short, wag more, bark less and love without limits!