Losing a Best Friend: 5 Strategies for Coping with Pet Loss

The death of a beloved pet can be an incredibly difficult time. It can leave us feeling helpless and overwhelmed with grief. It’s important to remember that it’s okay to feel these emotions and to acknowledge the loss of our beloved companion. Pet loss is an unfortunate reality that all of us will face at some point, so it’s important to learn how to cope with grief healthily. Last month, we unexpectedly lost one of our best friends and in the process, I learned how to navigate through the sorrow and begin the healing process not only for myself but for my family.

Losing a cherished pet is a heart-wrenching experience that can leave us feeling lost and overwhelmed. In order to begin the healing process, it was important to first recognize the loss our family experienced and acknowledge the impact Louie had in our lives.


Pets hold a special place in our hearts, and when they pass away, it can feel like a piece of us is missing. If you’ve recently experienced pet loss, know that you are not alone in your grief, and there are ways to manage with the sadness that comes with it.

Here are 5 strategies that helped our family cope with the loss of Louie and helped us find peace with the loss of our best friend.


1. Recognizing the Loss

Recognizing the loss is the first step in the healing process. By acknowledging the impact of our pet’s absence and finding ways to cope, we can begin to move forward and find peace in our hearts. Remember, it’s okay to mourn and seek support from our loved ones during this difficult time.

Acknowledging the loss means understanding that the pain we feel is valid and real. There is no right or wrong way to mourn the loss of a pet; everyone copes in their own way. Some people find comfort in talking about their pets with loved ones, while others may choose to create a memorial or perform a ceremony to honor their pet’s memory.

During this time, it’s important to lean on our loved ones for support. They can offer a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, or simply a comforting presence.

2. Understanding the Grieving Process

Losing a pet can bring forth a wave of emotions, and understanding the grieving process is crucial in navigating through the sorrow. Grief is a complex journey, unique to each individual. It’s important to recognize that it’s okay to feel a wide range of emotions, such as sadness, guilt, and even relief. The grieving process can involve stages such as denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Take the time to understand and accept your emotions, and don’t be afraid to lean on your loved ones for support. Additionally, be mindful of your kid’s grief and provide them with the necessary support and understanding. There are various ways to cope with grief, including seeking professional help or joining support groups. Remember, healing takes time, and everyone grieves differently.


3. Process and Embrace Your Emotions

Embracing our emotions is a crucial part of the healing process when it comes to losing a beloved pet. This includes not only our own emotions, but also the emotions of our children. When it comes to kids, their grief may manifest in different ways than ours. They may have difficulty expressing their feelings or may act out in unexpected ways. As parents, it’s important for us to create a safe space for them to embrace their emotions and process their grief.

For ourselves, it’s essential to give ourselves permission to feel all the emotions that come with losing a pet. It’s okay to cry, to feel angry, or even to feel relief. Our pets were an important part of our lives, and it’s natural to experience a wide range of emotions when they’re no longer with us.

It’s also important to find healthy outlets for our emotions such as:

  • Journaling
  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Engaging in activies that bring joy

By embracing our emotions and allowing ourselves to feel, we can begin to heal and find peace in our hearts.

4. Support

It’s important to remember that you don’t have to face it alone. Finding support from others can be incredibly beneficial in helping you navigate through your grief. Reach out to friends, family members, or even support groups who have also experienced pet loss. Sharing your feelings and memories with others who understand can provide comfort and validation. Additionally, consider seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor who specializes in pet loss. They can offer guidance and support as you work through your emotions. Remember, there is strength in seeking support, and it can make a world of difference during this difficult time.


5. Honor Your Pet

Finding ways to honor your best friend’s memory can provide solace and help in the healing process. Consider creating a special tribute to your furry friend:

  • Put together a photo album
  • Create a memorial garden
  • Showcase your pups favorites and mementos in a shadow box

You can also chose to make a donation in their honor to an animal welfare organization or volunteer at a local animal shelter. Another way to honor your pet is by incorporating their memory into your daily life.

While it’s important to remember and honor your pet, it’s also crucial to allow yourself to move forward. It’s okay to open your heart to another pet when you’re ready, as each new addition can bring love and joy to your life while still keeping the memory of your beloved pet alive.

XOXO – A Busy Mama

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