While we all grieve deeply for the loss of our beloved pets, certain populations, described below, will often face challenges that others may not encounter. Our hope is that by identifying some of these challenges, it will aid in helping them heal and help their loved ones to understand their grief.Petloss Partners takes the special needs of grievers who fall into these categories into consideration when providing support services.
CHILDREN – The loss of a beloved pet can have a profound effect on children since it is often their first experience with death. Depending upon their age, children react differently to death/loss. It is important to help them process this loss while making sure that all involvement is age-appropriate:
- Talk openly about their perceptions of death.
- Include them in decisions about the pet’s care.
- Allow them to be present at appointments/euthanasia.
- Ask for their input on aftercare decisions, i.e., cremation/burial and how to memorialize their pet.
- Talk about the pet after its death.
SINGLES – Single people often consider their pets to be their children/soulmates. Whether they are male or female, have grown children or never had children, they may be living alone and feeling the need to share their lives with another living being. For some, it may be the only means they have to safely express their love fully to another and to have it received and returned unconditionally. Pets provide a sense of responsibility and duty, and their incorporation into the single person’s life helps add a structure of routine and ritual, the loss of which is felt deeply when the pet dies.
SENIORS – It’s not surprising that seniors develop such meaningful relationships with their pets. Their attachment to their pet meets a whole range of physical and emotional needs. Having a companion animal to nurture and care for gives renewed purpose and meaning to their lives. A pet may be the only family a person has left. When it dies, there is no family left, no longer a sense of being needed, no longer any warmth or affection and no longer a sense of purpose, routine and companionship.