The holidays are a time of celebration, but they can feel very lonely for someone who has lost a beloved pet. It’s normal to feel sad at this time of year when you’ve lost a companion. The holiday season may be especially difficult if this is the first one you’re celebrating without your pet or if your companion passed away during a previous holiday season. These tips may help you cope with your grief over your lost companion this holiday season.
Expect Some Sadness: Expect to feel some sadness and grief at this time of year. Know that these feelings are completely normal, and there’s no need to hide them. Don’t try to avoid your feelings by staying busy. Instead, give yourself permission to feel your feelings. Allow yourself time to remember your beloved companion and to cry.
Talk: Share your feelings with someone you trust. If you have family and friends who have beloved pets, share your feelings about your loss with them. You can also go to a local pet loss support group to share your feelings in a nonjudgmental environment with others who can relate to what you’re going through.
Honor Your Pet: Remember your beloved pet at this special time of year by doing something to honor him. Light a candle for him, have everyone share their favorite memory of him at dinner, customize an ornament for your tree with your pet’s photo on it, or create an online tribute for your companion.
Give: Your companion showed you unconditional love and acceptance. Honor your beloved companion by giving the gifts she gave you to others. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, visit the elderly in a nursing home, or consider fostering a cat or dog in your home while she awaits her forever home. Helping others is a wonderful way to honor your pet and to share the gifts she gave you with others.
The holidays can be an especially difficult time when you’re grieving the loss of a beloved pet. No matter where you are in your grieving journey, remember that you are exactly where you are supposed to be at this moment in time. Taking good care of yourself, honoring your pet, and giving to others may help you get through the holiday season as you grieve the loss of your beloved companion.