Guest Blog: Pet Grief Tips
Lets dive in...
IS GRIEVING THE LOSS OF A PET NORMAL?
Heck yes! It’s true grief, and many humans are not prepared to handle this type of pain. Many people will close off their hearts after losing a pet because it hurts so bad.
WHY DOES IT HURT SO MUCH?
It has been said before that grief “is the price of love.” I also know that we are humans, and
guess what? Healthy humans have emotions. It is natural to grieve. It is normal to have painful
feelings after losing a pet. Your pet was a living being and I believe had their own soul. How
could it not hurt? Remember pet loss is truly a form of authentic grief. It is okay and normal to
hurt and feel deep emotional pain. It’s okay to bawl your eyes out and notice this pain in the
depths of your being. It is okay to process your loss. It is also okay to heal your hurting heart.
DOES LOSING A PET HAVE TO MEAN DEATH?
No, not at all. The grief from losing a pet can be experienced in many other circumstances.
Have you ever left a pet behind when moving out? Has your pet ever gotten out of the house or
yard and never returned? Have you ever had to give your pet to someone else because you saw
no other choice?
IS HAVING GUILT AFTER A PET LOSS AN ACTUAL THING?
Absolutely it is. Guilt exists no matter how good the relationship was. What one must
remember when feeling guilt is this… “Did you have bad intentions?” If the answer is “no,
then you don’t have the right to claim a guilty verdict. Remember, the feelings are real.
The emotions can be harsh. The grieving can be unique and complex.
How to heal from pet grief...
• Write your pet a letter
• Have a pet ceremony or funeral and invite those that will understand. (In person or virtually)
• Donate a bench in your pet’s honor and go there to talk to your pet on a spiritual level
• Join a grief group for pet loss
• Allow yourself to feel the feelings…Don’t fight the tears
• Make a video tribute as a part of the healing process
• Have your pet cremated and keep some ashes (you can even make some ashes into a necklace)
• Spread your pet’s ashes in a meaningful way and in a meaningful spot
• Make a special box or picture frame with some of your pet’s things
• Keep a locket, of hair if possible, as a keepsake: www.etsy.com/ca/search?q=pet-memorial-necklace
• Make a paw print of your dog before or even right after they pass
• Light a candle for your pet while you cry, talk it out, or simply sit there quietly thinking of them
• Place yourself in the company of like-minded people so that you can be true to your emotions
• Be with nature, walk in nature, sit in nature, and meditate in nature
• There are pet graveyards, if that resonates with you
• Do something creative and then journal on a regular basis
• Practice self-Care (e.g., massage, bubble bath, walk, get your hair washed and blow-dried,
enjoy a tea etc.)
• Share your pet on social media and pay a tribute to them
• Make a scrapbook in their memory with pictures, mementos, words, drawings, art etc.
• Make a pet memorial frame that is 3D and meant to hold special items. (e.g., picture,
tags, a tuft of hair etc.)
• Buy flowers in memory of your pet
• Plant a tree in memory of your pet
• Get a tattoo of your pet’s paw print or their name
What might a pet ceremony or pet funeral look like?
1. Make a memorial pamphlet with the pet’s picture:
2. Prepare a video tribute if you have the skills or have it done for you
3. Have a pet urn or memorial picture in a frame with the pet’s special belongings
4. Create a eulogy to read that will include the date of birth, or the date you met and the date
of loss, personality traits, special memories, thank-you’s to your pet and a good-bye
5. Let guest know that those interested may make a donation to a meaningful organization
in your pet’s honor
6. Present a guest book
7. Have Kleenex available
8. Hold an open mic
9. Play a special song
10. Offer snacks, tea and an opportunity for visiting afterwards
(note this can be done virtually and modified as needed)
What are some things I can say to someone who has lost a beloved pet?
- Pets are taken from us way too soon and this must hurt so much
- We will all miss________ and his/her cute face and wet kisses
- I know how close you were to your pet baby and this must be so difficult
- Your family member, (insert name) was such a good or amazing dog/cat etc.
- This must be such a huge void and I wish it was different
- You must feel so lonely without ____________
Is it worth it to have a pet... knowing it will hurt one day?
Absolutely it is! It takes a special person to love an animal.
- These pet souls deserve to be loved, honored, remembered, and grieved
- Like someone special once told me,
“THEY MAY HAVE ONLY LOVED YOU FOR PART OF YOUR LIFE…
BUT YOU LOVED THEM FOR THEIR WHOLE LIFE”
- If you ever have a chance to love an animal…. Do it. Life is too short and too precious not to
- A pet gives unconditional love and teaches us how to love deeper than we ever thought
- A pet can bring such acceptance, warmth, and support when in times of low mental fitness
- If you ever have a chance to adopt an animal… I urge you to educate yourself with Force Free
training so that all these souls get a chance: www.diamondintheruffinc.com
Quotes to ponder and help heal your heart...
“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard”
– Winnie The Poo
“It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we
become with each other because of them”
– John Grogan
“The risk of love is loss, and the price of loss is grief. But the pain of grief is only a shadow when
compared with the pain of never risking love”
– Hilary Stanton Zunin
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened”
– Anatole France
Sometimes, only one _______ is missing and the whole world seems depopulated”
– A. de Lamartine
“May your heart always be open to a pet and may your heart heal and be full of love
as life does its’ thing”
– Angel Tuttle
“Nothing is wrong with you – Your heart is just emotionally broken and it can heal”
– Angel Tuttle
Angel Tuttle is the founder and owner of Angel-Wins. She offers wellness retreats, grief and wellness courses, pet loss groups & one-on-one, Grief Recovery Method programs, & educational services (including academic testing, Irlen Testing, ADHD course & tutoring).