Contextualizing Loss – Talented Animals Blog

Contextualizing Loss – Talented Animals Blog

A friend asked recently what was the best technique I have found for coping with the grief of losing a beloved pet, and in the instant of loss I had no great advice other that to reassure her that, in time, the pain and grief subside a bit and all the joy and love remain and fill our hearts.

But, from a slightly longer view, I do have one general

In some ways, losing a pet has more visceral impact than losing a person—while we may love people dearly, our relationships with most people take place to a large extent inside our heads—they are based in part on ideas, dialog, and shared interests. On long conversations that we can recall later whenever we need to hear their voice. Our relationship with a pet is less cerebral but more corporeal. We spend far more hours in proximity to our pets than to most people, more hours cuddling and playing and petting. They are a nearly constant physical presence the absence of which is keenly felt. We have all reached for the food-bowl of a departed pet and found ourselves sobbing…

For me, there is one vital technique to “getting through” the loss of a pet: spend their lives building positive memories with them. The more trips you take, games you play, and adventures you have, the more your heart will be buffered against the grief of losing them. I think back over the lives of my pets, and there is so much joy that my sadness is well-balanced. I feel deep solace in knowing how rich and full their lives were. Regret is one of the most pernicious negative emotions, so banish it while you have the chance!! Leave no stone unturned, make time to stop by the lake, take them herding, teach them that fun new skill, get them ice cream, find out what makes your pet’s life wonderful and do it!

Years from now you will think, “What I would not give for
one more day so that we could…” Whatever that wish is going to be, today is
that one more day, so make it great!

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Contextualizing Loss – Talented Animals Blog

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