Counselling in South West London After the Loss of a Pet

Counselling in South West London After the Loss of a Pet

Coping with the loss of a beloved pet can be difficult and problematic on several levels. Not only are we mourning the loss of a beloved companion – who may even pre-date a partner or children – but we’re not sure if we should be so sad. Friends don’t, or can’t, understand. After all, it’s ‘only’ a pet. It was ‘only’ a dog. You can get ‘another one’.

A myriad of emotions

We understand. It’s not ‘only’ a pet. This isa real loss, of a friend or family member and the grief is real too, and should be worked through in the same way it would if it were the loss of a human companion. The same stages of grief will be apparent, too – coupled, perhaps, with an added complication of embarrassment or confusion. Perhaps you had to make the heart-breaking decision about euthanasia – another completely unique aspect of pet bereavement and one that is often difficult to deal with. There is specific counselling in West London available to help deal with the loss of a pet.

The stages of grief

As with the stages of grief in the loss of a person, the first stage will usually be shock. The house may seem empty and there will be reminders everywhere – a food bowl, a lead, a favourite toy. Anger and depression can soon set in. Losing a pet can feel every bit as hard as losing any family member and should be dealt with accordingly. Some owners are ashamed to admit this openly, and will struggle to find someone who understands. Others are so devastated by the loss that they are unable to work or fulfil their obligations.

Guilt

If the pet was indeed put to sleep, this can complicate the guilt stage dreadfully. Was it the right decision? Was it taken at the right time? Should you have tried something else? The guilt and anger stages can also merge. There are no clear guidelines for grieving and the process is different for everyone. Counselling in West London will help you recognise and accept this, which is key to dealing with your grief.

The acceptance stage is the last stage of grief but this doesn’t mean you’ve forgotten your beloved pet, or no longer care – you will be able, with help, to look back on happy memories. Your grief and sadness are testament to the love and happiness your pet brought to your life and Counselling in South West London will help you see this.

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