If you cried more after losing your beloved pet, than when you lost a human in your life, you don’t have to apologise for it.
Your grief is valid and I want to explain to you why so many people feel the same way as you do after pet loss.
I believe your animal family come into your life, when you need them.
It can even feel like they rescued you and not the other way around. As those moments in life when you reached out for a helping hand and instead you found a paw.
Helping you through the saddest of times or bringing you the most joyous moments, they love you unconditionally every step of the way.
And it’s because of this pure love that they shine into your heart, that you feel completely safe to be yourself around them. With no masks nor pretence.
They don’t care if you’re feeling a bit grumpy or stressed. Or you’re having a lazy duvet day.
They love you to the moon and back regardless.
No harsh words are spoken, instead they climb up onto you and snuggle in. Letting you smell their fur and feel their heartbeat on yours.
Is there any human in your life that offers you the same kind of solace? It’s ok to answer no to that question, own your truth whatever it is.
But if your answer is no, we begin to understand the phenomenon of finding pet loss harder than human loss. Or the loss of any animal for that matter, big or small. Fluffy or feathered.
But there is more to it. You’re fully responsible for their care.
They need you to eat, drink and exercise well.
And if they feel sick often it can be hard to notice anything is wrong until they feel really bad. Then you may start to give out to yourself thinking what a bad pawrent you are.
How could you not have noticed something was wrong sooner?
Instead of getting carried away with life’s human challenges & distractions.
But this reveals another reality of loving an animal. They can’t tell you when something is wrong. Or at least not in the same way a human can.
So if the time eventually comes when you’re told by the vet they’re not going to make it through an illness. That their body is weak and not able to support them for much longer.
And you’re faced with a gut wrenching decision.
Do I let them go naturally or do I arrange for the vet to help them pass over? But you can’t ask the animal what they want yourself.
So the pressure is on to make a choice. And of course everyone around you has a different opinion. It’s cruel not to euthanise them. It’s cruel to euthanise them.
That’s when the fear & confusion really kicks in. Life becomes suspended and you forget to breathe.
Yet you’re still expected to make what could be the hardest choice of your life.
How to put an end to your incredible love story. With the one being on this planet that completely accepts you. And trusts you implicitly to take care of them, even now.
And that last point is a major reason why I believe pet grief can be so much harder than when a human passes over. As you had to decide how they were going to see out their final days, whatever that may have ended up being.
So not only do you have to deal with the beautiful grief of losing your best friend, but you also have to cope with the added burden of guilt. Where you battle with the feeling that maybe you got it wrong for them in the end.
And that can stay with you and eat away.
But I want to attempt to lift some of that from your shoulders today if you carry this around. And let you in on something you may not realise about helping an animal pass over to the other side, naturally or otherwise.
Nothing ever happens that isn’t meant to. And by that I mean there’s always a divine thread woven into every stage of life’s journey, for you and your animal family.
Nudging you down a path that your soul has agreed to, in order to learn as much as you can in this human life. In order to evolve.
As you’re a spiritual being having an earthly experience.
As is your animal friend. And this brings us back to my earlier point, that animals can come into our lives to rescue us. And that can be by breaking our hearts wide open so our own light can finally start to shine forth.
In the hope that we start to reflect that pure love we have for our dogs back onto ourselves.
And then in time, we can perhaps be a source of great love for many more animals and people that come into our lives, and need us to rescue them.
If your animal family member is coming towards end of life & you would like more support, I invite you to take a look at my heartfelt talk Supporting Animals Through Grief & At End Of Life.
It also includes suggested botanicals that can help you with your grief, or any of your other animals who may be finding it hard to come to terms with their friend’s passing.
I sincerely hope it helps.