Dealing with the Loss of a Pet
Information provided by Melcher Sowers Funeral Home in Piqua
“Peppy was like one of the family.”
When we bring a family pet into our home, we make a lifelong commitment to love and care for them. In exchange, we enjoy the pleasure of companionship and unconditional love. We get to the point that we consider them family members. That’s why so many people find it difficult to say goodbye when a beloved pet dies.
It’s natural to grieve the loss of a pet, whether you’ve enjoyed one year with them or 12. Too often, people who don’t understand the bond that pet owners share with their animals interrupt our sense of loss. Unfeeling comments made by these people make the loss and sorrow even more difficult to bear. A healthy grieving process is as necessary with the death of a beloved pet as it is with the loss of a family member or friend. When children are involved, the death of a family pet is often their first experience with loss and bereavement. How we cope with our grief at this time and how we plan the final disposition of a pet can help children understand the experience. It also helps prepare them for the time when the inevitable need to deal with the loss of a loved one arrives in the future.
It can take months, or even years, to “get over” the death of a pet. There are some very effective, very human ways to cope with this sense of loss. Ultimately, it helps to treat the death of a pet much like the death of a beloved person. To a family that experiences this type of loss, an animal still deserves honor, tribute and a fond farewell. There are feelings involved that need to be handled and cared for.
The decision to leave a beloved pet behind at a veterinarian’s office for disposal or to bury them in the backyard, may not be the right decision for some families. As funeral directors, we can explain the many ways to commemorate and pay tribute to the years of love and devotion their pets gave them.
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