If you've never had a cherished pet, it might be difficult to understand what a friend or loved one is going through after the loss of a pet. It is a heartbreaking experience, and for many the grief felt is no different from the grief caused by the loss of a human family member. The most important thing you can do for those suffering the loss of a pet is be supportive. Consider doing any or all of the following:
- Send a card or sympathy basket. Sending a card or sympathy basket and writing a personal message inside can be very comforting. Letting those grieving know you care shows support.
- Share memories. Ask about happy memories of the pet. Reliving good times might help ease the pain.
- Encourage the expression of feelings. Keeping emotions bottled up inside will only make the healing process harder. Encourage the mourner to share their feelings and listen to what they have to say.
- Support groups. If your loved one or friend is having a hard time recovering from the loss of a pet, encourage them to join a support group and to share their feelings with those can relate to what they are going through.
- Help out. Lend a hand in any way that you are able to in order to reduce their stress during their time of grieving.