Let’s be clear, pets are family and losing a beloved pet is heartbreaking. Grief certainly doesn’t go away overnight. Don’t expect it to. Don’t expect someone to be fine because it was “just a dog” or “just a cat.” Any pet lover knows pets are so much more.
One of the things about grief is that it can sneak up on you from nowhere. Someone can have a dog that looks similar to yours, or someone might be doing things with their dog- that reminds you of yours on the other side. A song could come on the radio that sounds like the theme song you had with your pet. (Yes, I have theme songs for my pet- you don’t?) and you are left a blubbering mess.
Here is one of the reasons to keep trying to plow through grief: there is a bottom. The bottom might not be today, or three days from now but there will be a day that when you see someone with a dog like yours it won’t cause sadness, it will bring you happiness knowing that someone with that energy is still out in the world. When you are through the grief storm you will be again be able to let yourself feel the love you and your dog had again without the weight of grief bringing it down. When you feel can feel that love, it is healing, everlasting. Love doesn’t die.
One of the things Angels say to people when their pets cross is this: “There is always more to love than just earthly love. If there wasn’t, you would not be breathing anymore. You still have a reason for being here.” Frequently pets that I talk to on the other side want their owners to move forward, to get another pet. Don’t rule this out. However, give yourself whatever time you need.
Even crazier than wishing their families would get another pet, pets on the other side often state firmly that they will find a way to reincarnate back to their human. I have seen this happen so many times. My actual belief now is that love returns to love, and the beings that love us come back in new bodies to love and be with us again. Remember, they can only do that if we are willing to get another pet. There are still endings, but there are also beginnings
When it comes to healing, you might never go back to “normal,” whatever that means. You may still wince when the anniversary of your dog’s death day comes around. But instead of crying, you will want to honor your dog by taking your new therapy dog to see patients in the hospital. Or, instead of mourning over the things that you wanted to do with your dog, you will adopt a new dog and do those things with the new pup.
However, the grief has forever changed you. It broke your heart. Your heart never seems able to sew itself back together in the same way again... When your heart finally comes back together, your heart will be bigger for the experience. You will feel more empathy for people who have lost their pets, because you will remember how it felt like for you. You will somehow appreciate the new dog (or cat) you get even more than previous pets. You have a new perspective.
The grief you lived through will make those sunny days even more exquisite.
Just because animals cannot speak English does not mean they do not communicate. Ann gets messages from animals in a variety of ways. Are you interested in talking to a pet you lost, or knowing what your current housemate is thinking? Ann Hoff is an animal communicator. To book a private reading visit her site AnnHoff.com for more information.