As some of you might have caught on Instagram, we recently lost one of our family pets, Charley. I got her back when I was somewhat new to LA almost 8 years ago and she was the absolute sweetest. She ended up living with my parents since she and their dog got along so well, and we’ve all been having a hard time accepting that she’s gone. The loss of a pet is never easy but having them go too soon is even harder to deal with.
For anyone who has a pet, you know how much they impact your life. And for anyone who has loved and lost a pet, you know the heart-wrenching pain of losing one. Pets essentially dedicate their lives to us and our happiness. Losing one, especially so early in their life, just never seems right. I won’t lie and act like there’s anything that takes away the pain, but here are a few things that I’ve relied on this week.
When coping with losing a pet:
When dealing with the loss of a pet: Let it out
With any sort of grief or heartache, I think letting your emotions do their thing is crucial. I’m not someone to hold back on emotions when I’m sad. I think crying it out and letting natural emotions happen is therapeutic. I spent the first few days in sweats, crying often, and just being sad – something I’m not sure we allow ourselves to do enough.
When dealing with the loss of a pet: Share with others
A big part of my job is social media and it’s always a balancing act of how much of my personal life to share. When it comes to death or things close to my heart/family, I struggle to know if I should share or not. But what I usually find to be true, at least in this case, is that sharing with others can only make you feel better. I heard from so many people after I posted this and got endless sweet messages. It’s all sad and most of the messages were about others losing animals, but in the end, connecting with humans who have been through it helps a little bit.
When dealing with the loss of a pet: Take your time
I think that pets passing can sometimes be seen as something that should be brushed off quickly and I couldn’t disagree with that notion more. After all, they are a huge part of your family and life. There is a hole in your heart when they go. Similar to crying it out or letting your emotions run, I’ve been giving myself grace in mourning Charley. I canceled a few meetings, I have worked less, I’ve gone easy on myself, etc. Everyone gets it, so don’t be afraid to take the time you need to mourn.
Self-care helps with the mourning process
It sounds cheesy, but it’s all about finding things that make you feel a sense of calm during traumatic times. Whether it’s upping the face masks, buying a nice bottle of wine, or even booking a little getaway, find things that you look forward to and that feels nice.
When mourning your pet, do something to honor your pet
There are so many things you can do to honor someone when they pass. The same goes for pets. I think it’s a special way to let their life live on in some way and an act of goodness on their behalf is an amazing feeling. You can volunteer at an animal shelter, adopt another dog when you’re ready, donate to a dog park that your pup liked, drop off food or toys for animals somewhere local, or anything like that.
For anyone who is going through this, I hope these ideas at least help a little bit. Know that I’m thinking of you and know how you feel. For those of you with pets, please give them some extra love in honor of Charley. I’ll be doing the same with our pets <3