Five ways to "deal" with loosing a pet

Pets are members of the family. Sure they may have four legs and shed more than a shag rug, but they are there when you are sad, when you are sick and need a "fur" blanket, when you need a laugh, when you are laying on the floor and need a pillow... when you need a friend, an ear, or just some plain 'ole love... they can be the lifeline that holds a family together and they are never judgmental. Pets just love. And that's why loosing a beloved pet is NEVER easy. They leave a void in your life and the aftermath can be devastating.

I should know...

Today is the two month anniversary of my dog's death... and I am still feeling the hurt. Granted, some days are easier than others, but I still miss my Duce dearly. I raised him up from a little six week old puppy.. and at seven years old, we found out he was dying from either cancer or liver failure. That was in July of this year. By August, he was gone. (I will leave links below if you want to know more)

Today I am also sharing five ways I chose to "deal" with Duce's death. I am not going to tell you what is right and what is wrong, because that's the funny thing about grief- everyone processes it differently. Most people become depressed and cry. Some people stay in the denial stage for a bit. I turn to my education for answers and when I can no longer fathom a reason, I blow my top, have a cry, and go along with my day. Unfortunately, I tend to do this repeatedly. But it's just my way of grieving. And it's acceptable. Just like the way someone chooses to wrap themselves in blankets and silently cry or hold it in, and winds up making themselves sick; and a child chooses to not listen and looks for every ounce of attention they can get; and another person carries a stone faced look upon him. It's just the way different people process death and the grief that immediately follows.

I digress. 

I am not giving you ways I chose to grieve, but to deal with the grief I was, and still am experiencing; in the hope that these ways can help you in some small way. 

Do stuff

The day after we lost Duce, I just wanted to curl up and cry all day. My hubby told me to get out of the house so I wasn't constantly reminded of Duce's absence. He told me to go do something to take my mind off everything. For a few hours at least. My family decided to take me to the beach... it kinda helped. But I also kept doing it (the getting out of the house, not the beach thing)... not having a dog meant that we no longer had a reason that we had to be home. And coming home eventually got easier too. 

Look at pictures and/or videos

I have Duce's photo as the background on my phone and it will be there for awhile. It was taken a few hours before the "event", and in the picture, he looks truly happy. He was a constant in my life for over seven years, and knowing that I can look at him everyday, even though he's not here, helps me get though the tough times. 

Write a letter to the pet

I know how this one seems... but trust me, it helped me alot when I wrote a letter to Duce and posted it on the blog. Yes, I cried through it, but to be able to get those emotions out in the open helped me deal with the pain. I also wrote another one to him, on his one month anniversary in heaven. 

Talk about it

For the first few hours few days, all I wanted to do was cry. Then the numb stage kicked in. I felt lost in a world of dispair. I could barely look at my parent's dog, who happened to be Duce's sister (both are from the same litter), because she reminded me of him. Every time I would think about him, a knot would well up in my throat and I felt like throwing up. The my son asked me something... "Mommy, do you think Duce farts in heaven?" I laughed for a solid ten minutes. Then I cried. And then I talked about how much it hurt to loose him, and how sad I was. My son said he was sad too, and asked to go to heaven to play ball with Duce. I smiled.

And when all else fails,

Look at pictures of baby animals or crazy cat videos

Just do it... here's a whole Pinterest board dedicated to cute and cuddley baby animals. 

And five ways NOT to deal with it...
1. Get a replacement pet.
Noone can tell you how long to wait to get another pet, but I can certainly tell you not to do it within the week or month. It's just not nice.  Depending on how long you had the pet, you need time to grieve. And getting another pet to take your mind off your loss is not going to help you.

2. Act like nothing is wrong
You have lost a special friend in you life and you are allowed to cry it out. You are allowed to feel hurt and sad and depressed. But after you've had you time, pull yourself together and deal. Just don't act like their life wasn't worth your time and you don't care they're gone.

3. Become a hermit.
Like I said earlier, it's ok to cry and be sad. But after a few days (or however long it takes) pull yourself together, brush your hair, and face the world. It may be hard, but the road to recovery and healing is always hard.

If you want to read more about Duce and the struggle we went through with him, you can here...
Something weighing on my heart
When life delivers you a low blow
Five things I learned in August
One Month

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