How do you say goodbye to your best friend?
Animals have a way of loving us unconditionally. They effortlessly earn their place in the family as a loyal and trusted member. That's why it is so difficult to make the decision to say goodbye.
At Ancient Arts, we understand the special bond a human can have with an animal--any animal. So we wanted to let you know that there is no timeline to heal your hurting heart, and when you need to cry, you should.
When is the right time?
Euthanasia is the hardest decision you will make as a pet guardian. But oftentimes pet parents have a hard time letting go, and so they hang on to their animals too long. Pets have a way of holding on, too, to try to prevent their human's suffering. It is up to us to tell them they can let go. And sometimes they need a helping hand to cross the Rainbow Bridge.
When we begin to think of euthanasia as a gift, a peaceful ending to prolonged or unnecessary suffering, it can help us find our own inner peace to say goodbye.
Coping with Loss
Expect to feel deep sadness both before and after the loss of a pet. It is common to mourn their passing even before they are gone as we begin to sense that the end is near. The grieving process in all its five stages is a normal process to go through.
Many struggle with how to tell their children, or how to go into work the next day. Some people are hard on themselves, trying to hide their emotions. It is important to take care of yourself during this transition period, which typically takes longer than we expect. People who have never had a pet of their own tend not to understand the pain you are experiencing, especially if it is for an animal other than a dog or a cat.
Be compassionate with yourself. Nurture your feelings.
Memorializing Your Pet
There are many ways to pay tribute after you say goodbye. Decide whether a private or group burial is right for you and your pet, or if you want the ashes returned. Some people find closure by holding a funeral or sending out a postcard with memorable photos. Others make scrapbooks or send out a mass email to all those who knew the pet.
Planting new life can also help you cope with death and remember your pet. Think about adding a tree or flower bed to your pet's favorite spot in the yard or even the neighborhood. If you want to give back in honor of your pet, donate to an animal welfare group in memoriam.
While you grieve, it is important to focus on celebrating your pet's life instead of his or her death. Even years down the road, you might find yourself experiencing moments of sadness, but the fond memories you shared can help to warm your heart.