Surviving Grief: Coping with the Death of a Pet

Dr. Diana Walcutt Health Guide
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    We understand how much your pet can mean and how painful it is when they leave us.



    Because our pets mean so very much, the pain can be very deep and last longer than you might expect. Losing a pet causes the same feelings of sadness as losing a beloved relative or cherished friend.


    Did you know that there are 5 stages in surviving grief? They don't necessarily come in order:


    1. Shock or denial - "This can't be happening!"

    2. Anger - Why did God let this happen to my baby?

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    3. Bargaining - "I will do anything to get my pet back; Don't let him die!"

    4. Depression - "He's gone and I can't do this...."

    5. Acceptance - "It still hurts that he's gone, but I have to go on - perhaps I'll just look at this litter of puppies...."


    We can go back and forth between the stages and there are also the factors of guilt and shame.


    It's possible that you did everything you could, but you just don't feel that way.

    Your reaction is probably normal. But if you are too overwhelmed, call a professional who understands this very special kind of pain. Check out Psychology Today for someone in your area.


    Dr. Diana Walcutt

    Licensed Psychologist

Published On: September 16, 2008