My dog died and I can’t stop crying – is the real emotion that comes to a dog parent after losing their beloved dog.
At times, the human brain cannot process that something happened, and they tend to not accept the situation as it is, their brain denies that the situation has happened. This process, in psychology, is known as denialism.
It is the process of a human brain to deny certain truths just because they are uncomfortable. Losing somebody we love is an uncomfortable truth. Humans take time to agree with the fact that another person is dead. But when it comes to the person they love the most, it is a tough case scenario.
The tendency of humans is to get attached to their pet dogs very faster. That is because dogs provide them companionship, they are caretakers, and they are with us almost all the time, physically and mentally. The main reason why dogs are so much attached to humans is that they spread positive vibrations almost all the time.
A dog becomes a part of the human’s family so soon and so quickly. Unfortunately, a dog’s life span is way too lesser than a human’s, which shows that a dog cannot travel with humans through the end. There is no wonder why we would miss them when they are gone.
When a dog is gone, the source of security, companionship, and unconditional love is lost. It is difficult to come out of the loss and heal quickly. But here are some ways in which you could recover from your dog’s death.
Crying it all out
To people who say, “My dog died and I can’t stop crying,” crying is an all-time emotion. Crying may be defined as the extreme of all emotions. We shed our tears when we are angry, when we are happy, when we are sad, and also when we reach the height of any emotion.
The first thing to do, when you face a situation like this, would be crying. There is nothing wrong with crying out our grief. In fact, crying has tremendous therapeutic benefits. When we cry, we are relaxed and soothed. When we cry, our breathing and heart rate slow down a bit, which helps us to calm down.
Crying makes us emotionally stable. So, crying after the death of your dog might help you a bit in coming out of the situation. It makes you accept the situation. But over crying could ignite health issues.
Take your own time
Deal with your grief. Take time to know what happened and know the reasons why your pet is not alive. Tying up loose ends could actually help you recover soon.
As it is said by people, “grieving is an individual process.” Taking time would make you start accepting things as it is slowly and steadily. Trying to ignore the pain would make us psychologically suffer when we are alone.
Memories might brush up at times, that may make you sad, we cannot live without those thoughts because they would become a part of our lives. So, feel the pain and work on living with it. When you start living with it, you might end up enjoying the pain.
Create a memorial
Call people you know, a very close set of people who loved your pet and have been with them. Honor your dog in a meaningful way.
Talk about him to everybody and tell them how much he meant to you and how much he has made you happy during your hard times. This is one of the processes in proper grieving. You can continue visiting his memorial every year and remembering him.
Let people who understand you console you. Try reaching out to people who have also lost their pets and know how they healed from the incident. That can make you feel that it’s not just you who is being through this.
Avoid feeling guilty
Feeling guilty after the death of your dog is not good. Try to avoid feeling guilty about the death of your dog. Avoid thinking about the “what ifs” because that would end up in overthinking. Take the loss and not the responsibility for the loss.
Do not think that “my dog died, I can’t stop crying and I am the reason for it.” Think that it happened because it had to happen, and you could have done nothing about that. This will make you feel worse and stop you from moving on and continuing life.
Think about the good times
When we miss somebody, we tend to get reminded of them more frequently than usual. We cannot stop ourselves from thinking, but we can control what we think to some extent.
When we miss our dog, thinking all the good times with him might help you smile and laugh. Thinking the happy moments might make you feel sad at the beginning. But when you start thinking of how you brought your dog home, how he used to be naughty and other beautiful memories would keep you away from depression.
Listen to some music
Listening to music might sound impossible at the situation you are in right now. Our brain has a pleasure center, which helps in appreciating the good things and spreading the pleasure to the whole body. It basically persuades the heart and helps to cope up.
Listening to music gives us concentration and memory, which might seem impossible at the time of grieving. Music lifts up our mood.
If you ask, what happens when we listen to sad music? Studies say that people enjoy sad music also. It is because sad music would make the person less lonely. It equals to a friend saying that he is there with you at your sad times. So, listening to music might bring people out of grief.
Importance of self-care
This is one of the most important things. When we are upset, we would forget ourselves and care less, which is not good. So being kind to yourself is very much important.
Trying to go on with your usual routine must seem a bit impossible. But when you try to do that, you’ll actually become strong day by day. Why does self-care make you strong? Because mental health is supported by physical health. When you are mentally unfit, trying to keep up the physical fitness will bring confidence in you.
Caring for yourself includes the intake of proper and healthy food. Getting the right amount of sleep is very important these days because sleep plays an essential role in both mental and physical health.
Be around people
Another important thing we can do to maintain our physical and mental health is being with people. Being with people helps us to feel less lonely.
We tend to get upset every time we have our dog’s thoughts. But when we are with people, they talk to us and tell us that things are going to be okay. It’s also about you choosing the right person to stay with.
Support groups are also a good choice because they make us feel better. They actually know what to do to make us feel better. Even when you are with people around, you might discuss other things that divert you from your dog’s thoughts. The diversion might be temporary, but it makes you feel better to think of something else for some time.
Write down your feelings
Sometimes, the loss can make you go speechless. It might make you unable to explain yourself and your real emotions. During those times, writing might help a lot.
Penning down your feelings is not a substitute for professional therapy, but it helps to let the emotions flow. It is the best way to express emotions freely and safely. Writing has healing power. It helps in sorting things out and makes you get ready to start again.
Writing down is essential because it helps you understand yourself. While writing, we aren’t always cautious. So, it is a good thing to do while in grief.
Volunteer for an animal shelter
When your dog has died, and you can’t stop crying, the idea of volunteering an animal shelter or a pet rescue might sound overwhelming to most of us. But it could end up being the best thing during the healing process. This helps because you might want that animal-human bond, but you might not be ready to welcome a new pet into our lives.
Volunteering for a cause might give happiness to you. It would make you feel good about yourself, and how you think of yourself is very much important. If you cannot volunteer, you can donate to animal shelters and visit them as frequently as possible.
Distract yourself as much as possible
The thought that somebody you love is not with you will break you down so much that you’ll not be able to concentrate on anything else. It will lead to other different consequences. Distraction in the form of entertainment is capable of bringing the happy you out.
You can join dance classes, go on parties, dinner dates. If you are an introvert, watching movies, exploring new places, and eating your favorite food will make you feel better.
Adopt a new pet
Don’t rush to replace your pet. Adopting a new pet is not an easy thing. It is the last option left to overcome the death of your dog. When you adopt a new pet, it doesn’t mean that you are replacing your dog. It means that you are replacing the loneliness.
It takes a lot of courage to welcome a new pet into your life when you are already grieving for your dog’s death. This option is not the first step. Your dog can never be replaced, but welcoming somebody new can make you feel loved and help you share love and happiness.
The Bottom Line
The after-grief process is the strongest process of all. You would feel like you moved on, but still, you’ll be missing your dog. But it would change. You’ll think of the good times with him, you smile thinking of the things that remind “if he was alive…“.
To be honest, grieving doesn’t stop. You just find different ways of grieving. In this process of grieving, you might also see yourself distancing from people you love. Grieving is important because when we don’t grieve and keep inside our sadness and depression, we face a lot of consequences physically and mentally.
There are a lot of studies that say that controlling emotions may result in heart problems, decreases immunity, and affects one psychologically. It is a must that you have to overcome death because there are people who love you that much, and they cannot see you like being sad and upset always. That might affect them in various other ways also.
So, allowing ourselves to let out the emotions and providing chances to come out of the death of your beloved pooch is more important.