Mourning a Pet's Death

A pet's death can leave a hole in our lives.

The bonds nurtured between owners and pets can run as strong and true as love between humans, and when a pet passes on, we all need comfort from a friend who has been there.

If you've recently lost a pet, take comfort in these iVillagers' experiences and how they handled the loss of a pet and got through the grieving process:

"After I had to put my Dizzy down at age 20, I swore I would never put myself through that grief again. I had to take off work for three days because I would just start crying every time I thought about her. But I started to think about what a great life I gave my little baby, and pretty soon the good memories replaced some of the sadness. Even though I now have two adorable new cats who fill the void created when Dizzy left, she will always be in my heart. Give yourself some time, and then maybe you can give another kitty or two a good life also." --jojo46

"When I had to put down my cat (of 16 years), I was an emotional mess. I got through it by making a gravesite for her that I visit now and talk to her. I still go there now to tell her that I still love her and remember the good times we had. It does get easier." --schazulu

"I found a great story about loss in Chicken Soup for the Soul that's helped me deal with the loss of my pet. Here it is: 'A young boy went with his parents to be with the family dog when the dog was put to sleep. Everyone was saying how sad it is that animals don't live longer. The young boy said he knew why, "We are all put here on earth to learn how to love and get along with others. Animals already know how to love, so they don't have to spend as long here as we do. So they go to heaven sooner.' Maybe we could all learn something from that very young boy's story." --ariaen

"I've never believed in simply 'getting over' a death -- it just doesn't happen. Instead, we learn to accept it as a part of our lives that we learn from and remember. I had my pet dog Osa for only eight years, and she died last month. I still find myself saying good morning to her, or going to her room to play with her. I'm still angry about her death, but I'm learning to deal with it and focus on the good times. I've also found writing about her life to be somewhat helpful. I've created an online memorial through which I intend to re-live the good times I had with Osa, instead of focusing on her death." --nen6

"Having recently lost a very, very dear kitty myself, I know how hard it is to let go. The memories will last forever; no beloved pet ever really dies." --aerianna

"When I lost my pet kitten to a heart condition, one of my friends encouraged me to donate to worthy causes as a way of helping me through the grief. For example, she lost one of her cats to a spinal injury. So, she donated to a local veterinary research hospital. Places such as these always need money, and you can feel like you are making a difference. Also, don't forget that there is never a time when it is 'too early' to get another pet. The right time can only be decided by you." --cl-susanbridges

"When I found myself missing my wonderful cat Casey, I went and made a collage for her, which I look at when I'm missing her. I've also had a few dreams about her and this lets me know she's still in my heart, even though she's no longer with us." --subon

Come share your experiences. Visit the Pet Bereavement message board or create a memorial to your pet in iVillage's member websites area.

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