Grief is the normal response to any important loss in life. We grieve over the loss of a pet. Our feelings toward pets are so special that experts have a term for the relationship - the human-animal bond.
The death of a pet means the loss of a non-judgmental love source. These feelings can be particularly strong for the elderly, single people and childless couples.
Stages of Grief - there are 5 stages that are a normal part of the grieving process. Some people will quickly progress through all the phases, while others appear to get stuck in a particular phase.
1. Shock and Denial - the reality of death has not yet been accepted by the bereaved. They feel stunned and bewildered
- the grief-stricken person often lashes out at family, friends or the world in general. They will also experience feelings of guilt during this stage
- in this stage the bereaved asks for a deal or reward from either God, the vet or the clergy - comments like "I'll go to church every day, if only my pet will come back to me
- occurs as a reaction to the changed way of life created by the loss. The person feels sad, drained and helpless. The pet is missed and thought about constantly
- acceptance comes when the changes brought upon by the person are stabilised into a new lifestyle
At Forrest Hill Vet Clinic we understand the anguish that can occur after the loss of a pet. We offer the following resource to help you through this most difficult time
Support Available for Children, Young people and Adults After the Death of a Pet
Skylight is a not for profit agency supporting people through tough times – whatever the cause and whatever their age or circumstances. www.skylight.org.nz
A Resource and Information Service on issues of loss, trauma and grief – including pet loss, grief, bereavement and self care. For pet loss articles and links go to www.skylight.org.nz/Pet+Loss
Titles can be loaned on request and posted anywhere in NZ. To enquire about loans email firstname.lastname@example.org
Pets Garden of Remembrance "Eirever"
593 State Highway 17
- an outstanding privately owned park - a wonderful final resting place for your pet.
They offer a collection and burial service and your pet's grave will be marked with an engraved marker stone. Visiting is welcome. They also offer a cremation service and ashes may be buried or scattered. Telephone Dave or Jackie Stephens, 4159949.
Let me Go
When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me
I want no rites in a gloom-filled room
Why cry for a soul set free
Miss me a little - but not too long
And not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that we once shared
Miss me - but let me go.
For this is a journey that we all must take
And each must go alone
It is all part of the master plan
A step to the road home.
When you are lonely and sick of heart
Go to the friends we know
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds
Miss me - but let me go.