My dog died, and I can’t stop crying – that is the true emotion felt by dog parents after losing their beloved pets.
Humans sometimes have trouble accepting things as they are, and they are unable to process what happened. Their brain denies that the situation has occurred. In psychology, this is known as denialism.
Losing someone we love is an uncomfortable truth. Humans take time to agree with the fact that another person is dead. If it’s the person they love the most, there is a hard time.
Humans tend to become attached to their dogs much faster than other animals. This is because dogs are companions and caretakers, and almost always accompany us, physically and mentally. Dogs are particularly attached to humans because they always spread positivity.
As soon as a human brings a dog home, they become a part of the family. Dogs’ lives are far too short compared to human ones, so they can’t accompany humans to the end. We cannot help but miss them when they’re gone.
When a dog passes, we lose its source of security, companionship, and unconditional love. It is difficult to recover quickly from a loss. However, there are some ways you can cope with 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. In terms of emotions, crying is at the extreme. Every time we are sad, angry, happy, or overwhelmed by any emotion, we cry.
It is natural to cry when you face a situation like this.—there is nothing wrong with expressing your grief. In fact, crying has tremendous therapeutic benefits. Crying allows us to relax and be soothed. During our tears, our heart rate and breathing slow down, which helps us relax.
The act of crying stabilizes our emotions. If your dog died, you might find that crying helped you come to terms with it. Acceptance helps you cope with the situation. It could be unhealthy to cry too much.
Take your own time
Face your grief. Take the time to learn what happened and why your pet can no longer live. You may be able to recover sooner by tying up loose ends.
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.
At times, you may recall memories that make you sad, but we cannot live without those memories since they are a part of who we are. Feel the pain and learn to live with it. After a while, you may be able to accept 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.
Tell everyone how much he meant to you and how much he made you happy in difficult times. Grieving properly involves this step. Every year, you can continue to visit his memorial and remember him.
You should seek comfort from those who understand you. Get in touch with people who have also lost their pets and find out how they recovered. When you feel that it’s not just you going through this, it makes you feel less alone.
Avoid feeling guilty
After the death of your dog, you may feel guilty. It is important not to feel guilty about losing your dog. Trying to think about the “what ifs” will only lead to overthinking. Don’t take responsibility for the loss, just accept it.
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 only make you feel worse and prevent you from going on with your life.
Think about the good times
We are more likely to remember somebody we miss when they are away. Though we cannot stop ourselves from thinking, we can control what we think to some extent.
We might smile and laugh when we remember all the good times we spent with our dog. Initially, you may feel sad when you recall happy memories. When you start recalling beautiful memories such as how you brought your dog home or how naughty he used to be, you will avoid depression.
Listen to some music
The situation you are in right now might make listening to music seem impossible. The pleasure center of the brain helps us appreciate good things and spread happiness throughout the body. In essence, it persuades the heart and helps us cope.
While grieving, music provides us with concentration as well as memory. Music lifts our spirits.
What happens when we listen to sad music? Studies show that people also enjoy sad music. A person who listens to sad music will feel less lonely. It’s like a friend telling you they will be there at your darkest time. So, listening to music might bring you out of grief.
Importance of self-care
This is one of the most important things. We lose track of ourselves when we are upset, so we are less likely to care about ourselves. It is very important to be kind to yourself.
Trying to go on with your usual routine must seem a bit impossible. However, if you try to do that, you’ll actually become stronger every day. What makes self-care so powerful? The reason is that mental and physical health go hand in hand. When you are mentally unfit, staying fit physically will give you confidence.
The best way to care for yourself is to eat healthy food. It is important to get enough sleep because it is essential to our physical and mental well-being.
Be around people
Being with people is another way we can improve our mental well-being. Having people around lessens our feelings of loneliness.
Every time we think of our dogs, we get upset. But when we’re with people, they reassure us that things will be okay. Choosing the right person to stay with is also important.
Support groups can also be helpful because they make us feel better. They really know how to make us feel better. While you are with other people, you might be distracted from your dog’s thoughts by talking about other things. Even if it is only temporary, it is good to think about something else for a while.
Write down your feelings
Loss can sometimes leave you speechless. It might prevent you from expressing your true emotions. A lot of people find that writing can help during those times.
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. There is healing power in writing. The process helps you to organize and get ready for a fresh start.
By writing down your thoughts, you get to know yourself better. Therefore, doing this is a good idea when you are grieving.
Volunteer for an animal shelter
When your dog has died, and you can’t stop crying, the idea of volunteering at an animal shelter or a pet rescue might sound overwhelming to most of us. However, it may end up being the best thing during the healing process. If you are not ready to get a new pet, but you want someone to have that animal-human bond, this can help.
Giving of your time to a cause might make you happy. Your self-esteem would improve as well since you would feel better about yourself. 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 only make you feel worse. Entertainment can be a distraction that brings out the happy you.
You can attend dance classes, parties, and dinner dates. If you are an introvert, watching movies, visiting new places, and eating your favorite food will make you feel better.
Adopt a new pet
Don’t rush to replace your pet. Pet adoption can be a daunting task. To overcome the death of your dog, this is your last option. You are not replacing your dog when you adopt a new pet—you’re replacing loneliness this way.
While you’re already grieving for your dog, it takes courage to welcome a new pet into your life. There are other options before taking this step. Although you can never replace your dog, you can gain happiness and joy sharing with someone else who has joined your family.
The Bottom Line
The after-grief process is the strongest process of all. Even though you have moved on, your dog still looms large in your mind. However, it would change. Those good times with him will come to mind. You smile, thinking of the things that remind you, “if he was alive…“.
Grieving is a neverending process. Grieving takes on different forms for different people. During this grieving process, you may also feel a distance from the people you love. Grieving is important because when we don’t grieve and keep inside our sadness, we face many consequences, physically and mentally.
A lot of studies say that controlling emotions may result in heart problems, decreases immunity, and affects one psychologically. Because there are people who love you so much, and cannot see you sad, it’s a must that you overcome the loss and talk about your feelings.
The more important thing is to allow ourselves to deal with the loss of our beloved pooch and provide chances to move on.