How to Cope with the Loss of a Pet
Last November I lost the best friend I ever knew. My cockatiel Putty spontaneously succumbed to an unknown sickness and I never thought I’d be the same again. Here is some advice on how to survive a traumatic event or death of a pet.
Putty was my everything as we sang together, danced together, ate together and even slept in the same bed together. He was the only friend I told all of my secrets to and he filled a void that no one else could. When he was put down I couldn’t fathom how I would ever live without him. What I didn’t realize at the time is that I didn’t have to. He’s still here with me and I think about him and see him in my memories every day. I still feel his presence when I sing and dance. I still eat his favorite things. And when I go to bed I feel like we are reunited in our dreams.
When something bad happens to a pet it can be a traumatizing experience. Three days after Putty’s death I ended up in the emergency room. It turned out I had a kidney infection and a temperature of 104.9. It really was as if my emotional instability caused my physical body to shut down. What I had to learn is that no matter how painful it would be, I had to let out my emotions. Whether they manifest physically or through tears, it’s okay for them to be released. I still cry and allow myself to be sad and sentimental sometimes, but I’ve realized none of this has to do with accepting what’s happened or moving on. It’s simply a means of allowing me a natural way to cope.
The greatest lesson that I’ve learned throughout this event is that no matter what in life you receive from your loved ones you must be able to apply it when they aren’t around. I use the love Putty gave me to strengthen me during dark times. I whistle his songs any chance I get. The love of a pet is so pure it has the ability to live on forever if we allow it. It’s also okay to learn to love another because it will never mean we loved our pets any less.
Putty has helped to make me who I am today and I know he’d want nothing but the best for me. There is no need to feel depressed, to feel guilty or to feel abandoned. Instead of feeling these things what we should feel is peace because we were the lucky ones who got to have them for all that they were. They still live on in our memories, in our lives and forever in our hearts. Blu, from the Twentieth Century Fox movie “Rio” says it best, “For the record, I am not a pet! I am a companion!”
Please share a comment about how you coped with the passing of a beloved pet so that it might comfort others.
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