Grief & the Loss of a Pet

The 5 stages of grief

griefGrief is a natural response to the loss of a pet.  A common belief is that there are five stages of grief.  The stages are not in the same order for everyone.

The stages are normal.  To heal properly, it is important to experience and accept all of these stages:

Denial, Numbness & Shock — People block out words and hide from the facts.  This helps protect a person from the intensity of the loss.  As this stage abates, a person slowly acknowledges the impact of the death.
Bargaining — In this stage people are preoccupied with what could have been done to have prevented the loss.  In order to prevent feelings of remorse or guilt, the bargaining stage must be properly resolved.
Depression — In this stage you can expect to find crying spells, loneliness, emptiness, self-pity, lack of concentration and energy and disturbances of sleep and appetite.
Anger — People may feel anger at God, at the pet for leaving them or anger at life in general.
Acceptance — As time passes, people hopefully will accept the fact that the loss has occurred.

It is important to know that any of these stages can come back years later.

For more information, you may want to read the book On Grief and Grieving.  It is discussed in this website.

Granite pet memorials

Some people buy pet memorial stones for their back yards to help them remember the good times they had with their pet.  They go sit beside the pet memorials to help them get through the grieving process. Watch the 30 second video below.