A pet isn’t just an animal. Over time, he or she becomes a member of your family. We recognize this fact, and we know the pain that can arise from losing a beloved pet. To help those dealing with such a loss, we have included some information below on the grieving process.
Stages of Grief
In her famous 1997 book On Death and Dying, Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross described the five stages of grief.
Denial In this stage, your mind can’t yet accept the loss of your pet. You may feel lost and disoriented. The shock that you feel serves as a kind of shield, holding your feelings at bay until you’re ready to process them.
Anger When you start getting angry over your loss, you start bringing the pain and stress that you feel into focus.
Bargaining During this stage, you start asking yourself if you could have done anything to prevent the loss. In this way, you try to evade or escape your pain.
Depression Your loss truly sinks in during this stage. The sadness can feel overwhelming. You may wonder how you can go on. Over time, however, you will find that you can.
Acceptance In this stage, you still feel the loss, but you can acknowledge it and recognize that life continues. You can’t replace your pet, but you can have new experiences and start forming new relationships.
It’s important to remember that you may not go through these stages in this precise order. You may enter different stages—or more than one stage—at different times. Don’t try to control or force what you feel; let your feelings come when they do.