Pets are often part of a family and mean a lot to us as human beings. The loss of a pet can be difficult and can leave us with painful memories, loneliness and even emptiness. So just how can you begin to come to terms with the loss? Zoe Henderson gives these top tips for dealing effectively with loss.
Pets are our friends, our companions, our children and our teachers as well as our carers and healers. They offer us unconditional love and undying loyalty so when a much-beloved pet passes into the spirit world, the sense of grief can feel raw and unbearable.
We deeply mourn these beautiful souls and their loss can leave us feeling empty, friendless and alone. I know the sting of this loss all too well but I can also tell you that I know without any shadow of a doubt that your pet lives on in spirit. That they watch over you from spirit and do everything they can to help heal your grief – sometimes this may even be bringing another pet into your path.
Just because your pet is no longer incarnated in a physical body does not stop them from loving you and sometimes even continuing to live with you. I often go to the home of friends and see their old dog in spirit standing on the stairs, wagging its tail in greeting. Here are my top tips for easing the grieving process:
NOTICE THE SIGNS
In the first few days and weeks after your pet has passed over, you may notice a flash of something in the corner of your eye that reminds you of a swishing tail, or you may feel something brush against your leg, or you may get a hint of their smell. That’s just your pet saying ‘hi, I’m fine!’ so just like you would when there were there in the physical, say ‘hello’ back.
A ROLE AND A REASON
Just like some people, pets come into our lives for a reason and when they’ve accomplished what they needed to do, they will pass over. Animals are far more aware of the spirit world so they do not view death as an ending as many of us humans do. They are much wiser than us in that way – and in many other ways.
An animal’s passing may be a sign that a chapter of your life is finished and you’re moving onto something else. Your pet supported you through the previous chapter but their job is now done and so they leave. The timing is always right for both of you as the lessons between you both are finished. Take some time in quiet thought to consider what this reason was and give thanks for the role they played and for what they taught you about life and love.
RELEASE THE GUILT
Some people feel terribly guilty when a pet passes, especially if they had their pet euthanised towards the end of their life. Please let me assure you that there is nothing to feel guilty about. They chose to leave, they chose how to go, and they know they’re going. They have accepted this step in the cycle of life. If it’s a painful experience towards the end and you want to lessen their suffering, this is your gift to them and yet another learning for both of you.
After the passing, sit in quiet thought or meditation. In your mind, ask your pet to come forward to speak to you and feel the change in your energy as they do so. Thank them for the love and joy they bought to your life and wish them well in this next phase. Also let me assure you that when it is your turn to pass into spirit, that pet will be waiting to meet you on the other side.
Zoë Henderson is an intuitive healer and the author of Hands On Forever, a book that tells the story of her life and healing gift as well as offering tips on how the reader can heal themselves and loved ones.