Have you recently lost a pet? As your pet’s health deteriorated, you may have wished that you could have communicated clearly with your animal friend. Doing so may have helped you as you coped with the approaching death.
Those who have lost pets have tried to come to terms with the death by imagining what their pets were thinking. Many people have written what they have guessed that their pets wanted to tell them.
Here are some thoughts that may provide you comfort as you think about the death of your family pet.
1. You were your pet’s world
The members of your immediate family have other vital relationships in their lives. But to your pet, you were the world. The sun rose and set on you. You were your pet’s companion and the centerpiece of your pet’s life. You provided much more than food and water — you also gave your pet your heart.
It’s normal to grieve the loss of such a significant relationship. Consider referencing a pet loss book as you learn to navigate life without your companion.
2. You provided a good life for your pet
If you loved your pet, and we are sure that you did, you gave them a wonderful life. You provided everything they needed to thrive.
Take solace that you did the best for them that you could. That’s all we could ask from any of our loved ones, either animal or human.
3. Death is part of life
All living things will someday die. You may feel regret that you couldn’t save your animal friend, but you would have only put off the inevitable.
Death is part of life. We can’t get around it. All we can do is give our loved ones a peaceful entrance into the next life after their earthly bodies deteriorate.
Take comfort if you were able to provide a smooth transition into the next life.
4. Your pet tried to communicate with you the best they knew how
As animals approach the end of their lives, they may do things that seem out of character. This is their way of communicating with you. Watch for signs in their actions and body language. Look into their eyes.
As their constant companions, you, more than anyone else, have more of a chance of understanding their feelings than any other person. You know what is normal for your pet, and if they are not acting like their old self, this may be an indicator to you that your pet needs help.
5. Your pet knew that you didn’t want him or her to suffer
Prolonging the life of a loved one in every situation is not always the right thing to do. You followed the guidance of professionals and your gut to know what was best for your pet. You had a connection with your pet. No one else should second-guess your decisions, especially if you were seeking a peaceful end to your pet’s suffering.
Don’t allow others to poison your thoughts by second-guessing the decisions you made about your pet. You, more than any other person on Earth, had your pet’s best interests at heart.
6. Your sadness is understandable
Of course, you are sad at the loss of a constant companion. When you were away, your pet missed you as well.
You will experience grief after your pet dies, and that grief may come with a myriad of emotions. Some of those emotions may surprise you.
There is no timeline for grief, and you may need to accept that it will be a permanent part of your life.
7. Your pet wants you to “remember him with a smile”
Would you want to cause your loved ones sadness or grief? You were the center of your pet’s world, so your pet certainly wants you to be happy.
Consider the words to popular funeral programs for humans. Many can read through the mind of an animal companion as well.
8. Pet memorials may provide you with some comfort
One way to honor and celebrate the life of a loving pet is to create a pet memorial. Pet memorials can be purchased or made. They can act as pleasant reminders of a loving pet and could provide you with some comfort.
A pet memorial can be as simple as a photograph of your pet taken during a happy moment displayed next to his collar and dog tag. Some families choose to have their pet’s portrait painted or create a memory garden, complete with wind chimes or a stepping stone, in their backyard.
No matter the form your memorial takes, we hope that it serves to prolong the memory of your furry companion and provide you some comfort as well as you mourn your loss.
9. Your pet will live on in your memory and heart
Your pet will live on in your heart and mind. Consider placing this saying near a picture of your pet: “Always on my mind, forever in my heart.”
Share the memories of your pet with others. They may have stories to share with you as well. Keep your pet’s memory alive by talking about your furry friend. It may be painful at first, but reliving the good times may soon put a smile on your face.
Consider pursuing a creative outlet as you grieve. Write a song or a poem or create a piece of commemorative jewelry.
10. Your pet is frolicking in a beautiful meadow right now
Your pet is now frolicking in a beautiful pasture right now with other pet friends. Maybe frolicking wasn’t part of your pet’s life — maybe they found the ultimate ball of yarn or comfy box situated in a ray of sunshine.
Think of your pet as being in a permanent happy place.
11. You may find signs of your pet when you need them most
You may feel the loss of your pet and suddenly see his favorite ball roll across the floor. You may be in a funk, but suddenly hear a dog bark in the distance and think of your loving animal.
Look for signs of your pet through a butterfly that lands on your hand as you sit on your deck or a scent that reminds you of your pet. Take comfort in these signs.
12. Don’t forget to show love to other humans that are missing your pet
You may not be the only person grieving the loss of your pet. Make sure you comfort the other members of your household or friend group who may be mourning the loss as well.
Treat them gently. Be more giving with hugs and words of encouragement. If your children are mourning the loss of a pet, look for books to explain the situation. There are plenty of pet loss books for kids of any age and reading level.
13. Loving another animal will not betray your pet’s memory
You will never be able to replace the pet that you lost. That pet was unique, and the memories you made can never be repeated.
You love many people in your life, so why can’t you love multiple animals?
14. Consider providing a loving home for another lucky pet
You can learn to love a new pet and create new memories with that pet. Some animal out there needs a home and a loving family.
As you face the loss of your pet, learn what you can about grief. You may be surprised to learn that grief is much more than “feeling sad.” Read books about the loss of a pet or participate in online pet grief support groups. Talk with like-minded friends and share stories and photos of your pets and talk about things your deceased pet wants you to know.
As you grieve your loss, consider what you can do to honor the memory of your pet. While you may not be ready to have another pet enter your home, you could donate your pet’s unused items to a no-kill shelter. Perhaps you could organize an event to raise funds for a nonprofit animal group that is close to your heart.