Cold Lake Veterinary Clinic - Grief Support
Goodbyes are always difficult. Many think of bereavement as the beginning after loss but for many, the grieving process begins much earlier.
Often, it begins the day you realize that your pet is approaching the end of its life – even though the final loss of that pet may still be many months away.
The act of saying goodbye is an important step in managing the natural and healthy feelings of sorrow and loss. A last evening with your pet at home,
a special day and meal for your pet, or a visit to the clinic if the pet is being hospitalized – be sure to do whatever feels appropriate to allow each family
member to have alone time with your pet.
After the euthanasia, you will probably experience mixed feelings of sadness, guilt, and even anger. Many owners are surprised by the intensity of emotion,
even if they’ve previously experienced other forms of loss. Expect that it will take some time to fully accept that your companion is gone, and to adjust to a new
life that no longer includes him/her. Realize that everyone in the family will be grieving in their own way. Try to recall and treasure the good times you spent with your pet.
Sometimes well-meaning friends and family may not realize how important your pet was to you, or the intensity of your grief. Comments they make may seem
uncaring. Be honest with yourself and others about how you feel, and don’t hesitate to reach out for support. Several pet loss support websites are available
online, offering a wealth of helpful literature, support groups and chat rooms.
Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement: aplb.org
Be prepared that unexpected emotions may flood through you with your next visit to the vet clinic, or upon entering the room where the euthanasia was performed.
Don’t be embarrassed if you do get emotional, and don’t hesitate to let the clinic staff know what you are feeling.