To recover from the grief of pet loss many people go through a mourning process that is similar to that of losing a human being. The feelings of loss are real and can be a profound source of pain in their life. Many friends of the aggrieved find the pain that the person is suffering to be out of proportion to the loss. Below are 10 myths about how to recover from the grief of pet loss:
Myth#1: Individuals who experience intense grief over the loss of a pet are somehow strange or weak people.
Fact#1: Emotionally healthy people often react strongly to the loss of a beloved pet. This is normal, healthy, and even something to be proud of. It should not be a source of shame.
Myth#2: The loss of a pet is inconsequential in comparison to the loss of human life and to grieve so profoundly devalues human loss as a whole.
Fact#2: Losing a beloved pet can be just as emotionally significant as losing a close human relationship. They are not mutually exclusive.
Myth#3: To recover from the grief of pet loss you should go out and replace the lost pet with a new one right away.
Fact#3: Each pet relationship is different and simply cannot be "replaced" by another. Before getting a new pet make sure you are ready for a new pet and the bonding process that will take place.
Myth#4: You need to be strong and mourn alone. Don't "bother" other people when it comes to dealing with your sadness.
Fact#4: It is always helpful when you are suffering if you can find someone or some group to help you with your feelings. We are all social creatures and need support.
Myth#5: People tell you that you should "just get over it."
Fact#5: This is typical advice from people who have no idea of how you are suffering from your loss. Try to ignore those people and rely on your own support system.
Myth#6: You are being selfish if you euthanize your pet instead of letting them die naturally.
Fact#6: Euthanasia is a humane way to end the intense suffering of a beloved animal. Prolonging the suffering of an animal in pain is a more selfish act.
Myth#7: To recover from the grief of pet loss you should suppress your grief and not dwell on it.
Fact#7: Grief must be dealt with someway or it will remain unresolved. It need not rule your life but going through the five stages of grief will help you recover from the loss quicker.
Myth#8: The best way to make sure you never have to recover from the grief of pet loss, is to never again have another pet.
Fact#8: This really is no solution since all relationships, including pet and human, come with the eventual probability of loss. None of us are going to live forever yet we must continue to try and build new relationships throughout life.
Myth#9: Children can handle pet loss easily and do not carry the experience over into adult life.
Fact#9: Children can react as strongly as adults can when it comes to pet loss.
Myth#10: It is better to protect children from the truth of the death of their pet.
Fact#10: The truth is always better. Kids have a tendency to blame themselves for a thing they have no control over and they may think it is their fault that their dog "ran away".