Pet Loss Support
One of the hardest parts of pet ownership is the death of our beloved
companions. They love us unconditionally. They accept us as we are. They
are non-judgmental. They trust us completely.
We, in turn, learn many things about ourselves and them. We learn to
accept them as they are. We care for them. We cry for them. We laugh
over their antics. We seek them out, they come. We desire friendship,
they are there. We have hopes for the future, of which they are a part.
For owners of special needs pets, the loss is even harder. We agonize over
their welfare. We daily attend to their needs, with foods, with
medications, with awaking at all hours. We hear them and immediately move
into action. We accommodate their illnesses, by cleaning, by walking with
them, by sitting with them. Holding them. Talking softly with them.
The lives we lead tend to be completely enwrapped in their own. The bonding
between us is the same as the bonding a parent has with a sick baby.
But there comes a day when our beloved babies will leave us. Their bodies
begin the process of dying. Or, their souls become tired. Sometimes it happens
suddenly. Other times, the process is long and painful for us. We still
love them. They in turn, still love us. The pain of letting them go is
unbearable. We are losing our babies.
In our moment of loss, the floodgates of sadness and regrets awaken. We
are no longer bound by times. We have no need to remember medication
schedules. We are not required to be home. We do not have need to find
that special person to take care of our baby when we must leave for a day
or few. Their absence leaves a gaping hole in our lives. Not only do we
miss their presence, but our lives suddenly come to a halt. Almost
Sometimes it becomes difficult to continue on. Our grief may be unaccepted
or misunderstood. At times, we are hurt by the very people who care for
us. Sometimes our sorrow is met with contempt. These may be the moments
where we miss our pet the most. This may be when we would have gone to
them for comfort or understanding, creating even greater sensations of loss.
There comes a moment in time, when the pain will begin to ease. We may face
this time with mixed emotions. Perhaps feelings of guilt will arise. But
the wonderful part about this moment is that we can begin to remember our
special babies with more peace than pain. It's as if the cold blanket of
memories begins to warm.
We love them as much as we ever have. We aren't "getting over it." We
never really do. We will always remember them. They are forever in our
hearts. "Getting over it" implies putting them away in our
minds. Forgetting them. Rather, we are learning to accept their death,
and learning to live without their daily presence.
We may begin to turn our thoughts back to the living. We may decide to
memorialize our pet. Most importantly, we begin to heal. This healing
takes on many faces. Each of us heal in different ways. We may paint or
write poetry. We may plant a garden including all our pet's favorite
plants or vegetables. We may reach out to others in similar
circumstances. We may become proactive in canine epilepsy awareness. We
may even open our hearts to another special pup.
The hardest part in all of this is the feeling that we are alone. But we
are not. Our grief is not unknown in the world of pet owners. Our
situation may be unique, but understanding can be found. Sharing our loss
can help us deal with our harsh pain. Sometimes we need the comfort of one
person who is understanding. Other times, a group setting may better be in
order. (For this I would recommend http://www.aplb.org/frameset4.htm
Three times a week there is a chat, you can find me there at least
once a week. I am in no way affiliated with this group. Just a very
thankful Mommy who lost her beloved epi baby, Khiori. Through this group
of loving people, I have found I am not alone. I have indeed suffered a
great loss. Khiori was an important part of the world. I found a place
where I was able to cry, share stories of her life, laugh over the silly
antics of my own and others' babies. But most importantly I have been
able to share my greatest emotions of pain, sorrow, fears, and my love for
my girl, Khiori.
SoloDancer (Newf Nanny Extraordinary) , Leo (My Heart's Comfort)
& ~Angel Khiori~ - Forever My Shining Star - July 1998 - March 2001
Some tips from a special friend on Dealing with the Loss of Your Angel Pup