If you ask me, losing a loved one isn’t easy and hence there is never an “ideal recovery time” to get past the loss of your pet. You can’t put your finger on any month or date in the calendar and reassure yourself that you’ll be fine by this time period. It doesn’t work that way. When you lose your pet, it’s probably the most heartbreaking and heart-wrenching moment. I lost my first pet when I was all of 12 years old and I still can’t forget how I feel whenever I think of the moment the news was broken to me. I still can’t get over the fact that I could never say goodbye to him. It took me a couple of days to process that he was no more. As I write this with a heavy heart, my eyes still well up with tears, thinking about him and his presence. He was my companion, guide and older sibling growing up. It leaves a huge void and a heavy impact.
Sometimes I think it’s safe to say that pet parents feel worse when they lose their furry one only because their entire lifestyle has revolved around them for years. When he/she is no more, it’s like almost asking for an involuntary lifestyle change. Pets provide a sense of meaning and a purpose to your life. I would say that they almost shape up your life and day. Time is the only way to heal yourself from this grave loss. But here are a couple of things you could do to help yourself during this time…
- Try organizing a memorial for your loved one – I had all my friends over and we decided to share a happy memory of him and laugh about it. We also created a lovely scrapbook of all the photos clicked of him to reminisce the happy memories.
- Try picking up a ritual – For me, when I lost my pet, I started writing letters to him every single day. It felt like there was some communication with him instead of none at all!
- Establish a new routine – Luckily for me, I wasn’t home for too long when I lost my pet as I was in boarding school. I just immersed myself in school and getting work done to distract myself. I decided to just put in most of my time into doing schoolwork and trying to make new friends.
- Don’t rush to replace your pet – We waited five months before getting another pet. In fact, it was my dad’s surprise for me! He made sure the whole family was okay with this decision and had had enough time to process it. She didn’t feel like a replacement at all because it happened to be a puppy from one of his familial litters! So it only felt like we were continuing the legacy.