Coping with the loss of a pet
As I write this, it was 11 weeks ago that our Molly was taken from us. I feel like I should start off with a little bit of back story, if you’re clicking on this post because you’ve recently lost a furry loved one, then your situation is most likely going to be different to mine, at least I hope it is.
Our Molly was killed by a group of low life, sub human scummy boys with sling shots, as I write this my heart is beating so fast with rage. They, for some reason, thought they had the right to take her life as a way to spend their afternoon. Our hearts broke the minute we heard the news. How could anybody be so cruel, we thought. The truth is there really are some nasty pieces of work out there in our societies, I mean they did this in broad daylight as people were finishing work and school, it’s frightening. They were seen walking away with our beautiful baby girl in their dogs mouth, but luckily a passerby stopped them so we got her back. They had the audacity to get irritated with the person who saw them, then the arseholes got their dog to drop her, THEY KICKED HER INTO A BUSH then ran off, they also ditched their dog if I may add. Cruel little arseholes!
I feel like I got slightly carried away there but as you can see I’m still filled with a lot of rage. Even though the last 10 weeks have been incredibly hard, like extremely hard, I hope that I can use my situation to help those that also may have lost a furry friend. If you have, then I am so sorry for your loss.
MOLLY, OUR BEAUTIFUL BALL OF FLUFF.
You are not crazy
I never felt like this, as someone that loves animals a lot more than people I dealt with this a while ago, but I know that some people can be made to feel like they’re crazy for taking time to grieve over a pet. I’m here to tell you that you are absolutely most definitely NOT!!! You most likely spend more time with your animal friend than you do with your closest human friends. They are a part of your family and a big part of your life so don’t ever think that you’re crazy for mourning them.
Some people just aren’t going to get it
Some people won’t get it and that’s fine because others will. For reasons that I won’t ever understand, some people just aren’t animal people (I know, those types of people actually exist) and they won’t understand why you’re so upset about the passing of your furry companion. During this time those are the people that you need to avoid, if it were me I’d cut them out all together but that’s just me. You need to surround yourself with those that do get it and those that will support you and help you through this tough time, not those that will tell you to just buy another pet. How anybody could say this to another person boggles me, but it happens.
Feel how you need to feel and when you need to feel it
I consider myself very lucky because I am surrounded by such good people who supported and comforted me. Most of my breakdowns were with Alex, who’s been amazing, but I had a lot of them at work. Luckily the people I work with were so compassionate and understanding, it really helped.
You have to let all of your emotions out, whether that’s anger or sadness. Trying to contain and suppress your emotions is never good; if you do, they will all explode out of you at the worst time and you’ll have a mega massive breakdown, and trust me when I say that you don’t want that, it’s not pretty or healthy.
I’m still guilty of not doing this and I kick myself because every time I do, I just end up feeling worse in the long run. So trust me, please do not bottle up any of your emotions and let them out when you feel the need to.
It takes time, so take as much as you need
If you take anything away from this post, let it be this. You may have lost a pet before and you may have handled it better and healed quicker. Or you may know somebody that was still hurting months after they lost their furry friend but you were fine a few weeks after. Every person is different and everyone’s life’s are different, even you’re changing all of the time, you’re different to who you were say a year ago so don’t expect you to react the same way that somebody else did or how you did in the past.
When I came to this realisation it made everything so much easier. Not only was I dealing with this traumatic experience, but I was also getting angry at myself because I couldn’t get past the sadness; I was sad all of the time and it just kept getting worse, but that was because I wasn’t giving myself enough time to grieve. You shouldn’t give your heart a deadline to heal itself after losing a loved one. It may take you a year before you’re really able to move past it, it may take you a month, either is totally fine. Just don’t put too much pressure on yourself and I promise you that will make it easier. 11 weeks after and I’m still no where near being able to move pass it, and that is so okay.
Don’t let yourself fall into a dark place
Even though you should let yourself have as much time as you need, just make sure you don’t fall into a dark place. If you’re noticing that your sleeping pattern has drastically changed, you don’t want to get up and go outside or you don’t want to do things that used to bring you joy then that’s when you need to seek help from somebody to help you get out of that state of mind or stop you from going down that path all together. Find the joy in anything you can and don’t feel guilty for doing so.
During the first month I used to feel guilty any time that I felt happy. But that was absolutely ridiculous.
Do what you need to do to get through each day
Take each day as it comes. When you start to look too far ahead, that’s when you start putting pressure on yourself to feel better quicker and we’ve already covered why you do not want to do that, it’s self destruction.
If you feel like you need to take a day off work to go and do something fun, or even to just sit in bed and watch some feel good films, then do that. Just not all the time, okay. Treat yourself to something nice, have a self care day or evening, take yourself out for dinner, finish a book, take up a new hobby or bury your head into an existing hobby. Do what you need to do to get through the hardest days and always take each day as it comes.
I’m such an advocate of exercise because it makes you feel so good. It’s also a great way to make sure you’re not slipping down a dark path because you’re taking time out to do something good for your mind, body and soul.
Spend time with another fury friend
Maybe you have other pets, my doggos have really helped me get through this rough time. Or maybe borrow a friends fury friend for a day. Go and volunteer at an animal shelter. Go to a dog park and meet some doggos. Go out for a walk in your area and look for a cat rooming around that you can watch or stroke. Watch some birds. Watch funny animal videos on YouTube. Being surrounded by these innocent, beautiful and pure creatures will always help. I know it does for me.
Do not feel guilty for bringing in a new animal into your home and life
You are not replacing the beautiful creature that you lost. You are simply filling your life with more animal pureness and there is nothing wrong with that. Do not feel guilty, you are not replacing your friend, their memory will forever stay alive with you.
Think about the joy and memories that your animal companion brought you
Warning, by thinking or talking about these things you may cry, especially if it’s still recent. But don’t be mistaken by those tears, they will be tears of happiness and they will remind you that no matter how their life ended, you gave them a good one. You were their whole life and they will always take up residency in your heart.
When we buried Molly, a bunch of our other cats (my family have a lot of cats but there’s no need to get into that now), they came out of nowhere and sat on our shed and all watched in a line. Once she was buried and we all said our see you laters, they went. Call it what you will, coincidence or whatever else, but it warmed my heart and I love telling that story. Or when we used to take Mushu (my teenage pupper) out for walks, she would walk the whole way around with us, she loved him. She also used to be such a bipolar cat too and a true wild one, she was so affectionate and loving when she was outside but as soon as she stepped inside the door (only to come in for food) she would hiss at anyone or anything that came near her, then as soon as she would step outside again, she’d be purring. Or my favourite story to tell is that when she was born and for a few weeks after, she had the strangest fur. It was patchy and thin, then one day she just fluffed out and had the most gorgeous, thick and long coat of fur, she was so beautiful, totally different to how we imagined she’d look..
And even though I cried while writing that and again as I’ve gone over and edited, it’s like those tears let in a certain light into me that makes me smile. Because even though she left this world in a horrific way, I take joy in the fact that she had a bloody good life, no matter how short it was cut.
It’s okay to cry.
It’s okay to feel angry, but not too often as it can be self destructive. Feeling angry is easier for us than feeling sadness. It’s easier said than done, I’m still pretty furious, but being angry all of the time sucks.
Do not feel guilty for anything, you cannot change the past and the sooner you learn to live with that, the sooner you will find peace.
It’s okay to talk to people, you are not bothering them. If you are, then you don’t need those types of people in your life.
Surround yourself with good, understanding people and as many animals as you can.
RIP MOLLY, OUR BEAUTIFUL GIRL THAT WAS TOO GOOD
FOR THIS CRUEL WORLD
I hope that if you are going through this unfortunate time that is losing a fury loved one, that you can find some peace in the fact that they lived a wonderful life, better than most animals out in the world. You were their whole life and they will always be a big part of yours.
If you have any other tips that you feel like I’ve left out, or you’re going through this and want someone to talk to, drop a comment below or a DM, my Twitter and Instagram are always open.
I hope you have, are having or have had a wonderful day.