Grieving the loss of a pet loss through death, or an expected death (anticipatory grief), or through having to give up your pet due to changing circumstances (such as a relationship breakdown) is often viewed negatively by society. The emotions, pain and suffering are no less real, intense or valid because it is/was a well loved animal. Please see the pages on Bereavement, Loss and Grief for how the loss of a pet may impact upon us. The feelings, pain and suffering are the same in the loss of a human, or other major loss, as in the loss of an animal.
Loosing your pet may include the loss of pet related activities (agility, training, going to dog shows, exhibitions) a routine (regular walks), a lifestyle (pet-friendly holidays), and the losses of the people and places related to these activities. Your pet often gives you what no human can-unconditional love and acceptance. They seem to understand us and our moods and offer comfort, loyalty and a sense of fun.
How counselling helps
Counselling helps by allowing you the time and space to talk about your difficult feelings and the impact of the loss on you and your life. You and your life will be different following your loss and this can feel chaotic. You may want to talk about getting another pet, and we can identify strategies to help you move through this difficult grief process.