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I am lost without my pet! What should pet loss and pet grief feel like?

Updated: Feb 10

A pet can be a huge part of the family system, so when their life ends it can throw up lots of questions around how to deal with pet loss and if we should experience grief.

pet-loss, pet-grief

It can be devastating to lose a loved pet and it is normal and ok to experience grief when this happens.

Grief is different for every person. It is often said that the grief we experience reflects the love we have for those who have died. This helps to explain why it is individual for each loss we face, because every relationship is unique. There is no timescale, no list of feelings you ‘should’ feel, no ‘appropriate’ way of behaving through this period.

The loss of a loved pet can be as painful as losing a person in your life. Pets can be a huge part of our family system and offer different relationships to what humans give us often giving us unconditional love and attention. This can create an extremely strong bond, meaning it can be extremely painful when it breaks.

There is no answer to how pet loss or grief should feel, it will depend on many, many factors including your experience of past grief, your bond with the animal you love, your current life circumstances, your wider family system. Do not be afraid to reach out for help through this period and do not disregard your grief; it is real and it needs to run its course and be processed.

If you are struggling with the impact of losing a loved pet have, it may help to have some counselling sessions to support you through this time.

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