Learn how you can help a heart heal. Let someone grieving the loss of their pet know you understand. This article is a re-post from The Conscious Cat with Ingrid King - updated blog post on December 16, 2019.
Losing a pet, and the devastating grief that follows, is hard any time of the year, but it can be especially difficult this time of year. For those who have lost a loved one, the contrast between the rest of the world, which seems to be focused on making merry and celebrating the season, and the bereaved’s private pain and grief can be a glaring reminder that the holidays won’t be the same this year.
Additionally, if the loss happened during past holidays, there may always be some sadness associated with this particular time of year. This can also be a difficult time for those whose loss occurred during the year and who are now facing the first holiday season without the beloved pet.
Every loss is different, and every journey through grief is a unique experience.
Grief is cumulative. We don’t move through the predetermined stages of grief in order, and emerge on the other side. Grief is a very individual experience. While there are some commonalities, every loss is different, and every journey through grief is a unique experience. And frequently, a new loss will bring back memories of past losses and may trigger unresolved feelings the grieving person may not even have been aware of.
Self-care is important
It’s important for the bereaved to find ways to take care of themselves at any time of the year, but it’s especially important this time of the year. If you’ve recently lost a pet, or are facing the loss of a pet, and if you’re having a hard time with this holiday season, the following suggestions may help you cope.
Remember that sometimes, the anticipation of how awful the holidays are going to be without your loved one can be harder than the actual holidays. And as much as the bereaved dread the holidays, sometimes, the aftermath of the holidays can bring even more sadness than the actual holidays themselves, so be aware and prepare yourself for this.