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Tips for Grieving after Losing a Pet

When a beloved family pet passes away, it is difficult to say goodbye. Coming home and not hearing your dog scramble across the floor to greet you is heartbreaking to say the least. Although it is never an easy thing, there are ways you can ease the grief.

Have a funeral

A funeral for your pet can give you a chance to say goodbye and is especially good for children. The funeral can be as big a deal as you want it to be and it may be a good idea to include the other pets so they can say goodbye. Animals experience grief after their friend dies and seeing the other animal’s body lets them know that the other animal is not coming back so they do not wander around the house looking for their friend. You may want to hold the funeral in your own backyard. Invite family or friends to tell their favorite story about the pet or have young children draw a picture of the animal. You can bury the pet’s favorite toys with him or save them for some of the other activities listed below.

Make a scrapbook

Scrapbooks are an easy way for a crafty person to store happy memories with their pet. Scrapbooks work especially well if you have a lot of photos of the pet. You can write little stories from your memories of the pets and include little mementos in your scrapbook. If you had a child draw a picture, you can also include it in this scrapbook. Most craft stores sell a variety of papers and scrapbooks to choose from as well as stickers and other various decorations.

Make a special box to store the pet’s items

Purchase an already made box (a basket will also work well) big enough to fit such items as the pet’s leash, collar, toys, bowls, photos and other little things. You can decorate this box or leave it as is and fill it with the pet’s items. Tie the top down with a pretty ribbon and put the box on a shelf. Look through it if you find yourself missing your pet.

Write about your pet

If you have writing talent (or even if you don’t), you can write about your pet. Write his story or even write a fictional story about what pet heaven must be like. You can write this story in a pretty journal or on a blog. Writing can have therapeutic effects on some and will ease the sting of losing a pet.

Make a small memorial

Did your pet love to go for a romp through the woods? Did he love to sit on the windowsill and watch the outside world? If your pet had a particular place he was fond of, you could build a small memorial for him there. You can put a picture of him there along with some flowers or a bag of treats. In the woods you can spell his name with rocks on the ground or make a heart with his picture in the middle.

Nobody likes to say goodbye, but in the end it is possible to come to terms with your loss and be happy for all the years you had together.