'Grief never ends...but it changes. It's a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith...it is the price of Love'- unknown
You have put your pet first
There is no time more difficult in a pet owner's life than having to euthanase a beloved animal companion. You may have varying emotions such as guilt, uncertainty, confusion, fear and overwhelming sadness. But you have made the right decision, and it comes from a place of love. Be proud of yourself that you have found the strength to put your sadness aside and focus on what's best for your pet. Your pet is very lucky to have a loving owner like you. Please watch this short film Denali by Ben Moon, as it recognises there is no easy way to say goodbye to a dear friend.
Grief is a normal & natural response to loss, and the early days and weeks can be tough. To help with your feelings of grief, please click on my suggested online resources below, seek caring, nonjudgemental support in those around you, or contact your healthcare provider. Additionally, the Absent Companion and Adversity Wellbeing Service (ACAWS) has a free phone service to help animal owners through this difficult time via short term pet bereavement counseling. See their brochure here.
Recommended websites for pet bereavement support (the first three websites are based in the USA). Grief books can also be beneficial.
Please consider printing this children's workbook: I miss my pet (by Katie Nurmi) to comfort your children after pet loss. Also click on this link to help teach your children how to express grief in emotionally healthy ways.
Helpful ways to remember and honour you pet, while helping you through your grieving process...
- Plant a tree to 'signify rebirth.' This tree will be in your pet's honour, and is a way to mourn a pet in a giving manner. If you have chosen individual cremation, also see RainbowPaws to create a lasting memorial by transforming your pet's ashes into new life through infusion into a living plant.
- Consider displaying one or more items (paw print, lock of hair, collar, favourite toy) in a window-box frame with a photo of your pet. Or see AshtoArt to make art, pendants, and jewellery crafted from your pet's ashes.
- If you have chosen a home burial, consider having a special headstone placed in this area. You can also grow beautiful flowers or plant a tree.
- Write a poem, story, or blog about your pet. A written tribute will help you process your emotions, plus if it is posted online, it may help other pet owners through this difficult time.
- No matter what ceremony or tribute you choose, find comfort that their memories will live on.