Pet Loss Grief

Losing a pet can bring about tremendous grief. In society we don’t often acknowledge pet loss grief in the same way we recognize other type of grief and loss. This is what’s called disenfranchised grief—sadness due to a loss that is not seen as typical such as loss of pet, a parent giving a child up for adoption, military personnel who have to make frequent moves to name a few. Pet loss is painful and we need to validate this loss more often. Pets are family. They see us at our very best and worst. They love us unconditionally. They don’t care if we’re rich, poor, smell great, weigh a certain amount, or are handsome or pretty. In what other relationships do we find such absolute and utter love? To lose this type of companionship and unconditional love is devastating. Plain and simple. 

We need to be better at checking in with those who’ve lost a pet. Don’t ask them when they plan to get a new pet either! Understand that like other loss they’ll have good days and bad days. Encourage them to share some memories about their pet and what they miss the most. Look at pictures of their pet. Validate to them that this loss is hard. If you’re struggling with the loss of a pet, it’s important to speak about it. If you live in the northern Colorado area (Fort Collins, Greeley, Windsor, Loveland) and are seeking counseling, contact Mending Hearts Counseling at 970-545-1111. 

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