Taking Care of Yourself

Tips to help while grieving

  • Cat on a stairwellEnsure that you keep up the fluids; grieving can be exhausting and hydration is very important for cognitive functioning.
  • Eating issues–why not try a smoothie instead or just graze through the day instead of main meals.
  • Rename tough anniversaries, calling them angelversaries.
  • Buy your pet’s favorite treats on angelversaries and donate to a local shelter.
  • If sleep difficulty is an issue and prolonged, seek medical advice.
  • If sleeping and loneliness are really impacting, many decide to get a cuddly toy to sleep with.
  • Tattoos are becoming increasingly popular;  one chatter mentioned having an ankle tat of her pet in order to take her animal companion along on daily walks. 
  • Break up the grief and give your heart and head a break through a distraction. Going for a walk or to a movie helps. If feeding times are stressful, choose a distraction such as a phone call.
  • Try journaling; write down all those beautiful memories, write a letter or poem to your loved one and on the bad days refer back to it. You may even find a smile through the tears.
  • Build a memorial garden or make a planter box that sits where your beloved pet sunned him/herself. Perennials are a good choice as they renew each season, like being reborn, or choose something that flowers around the time they passed so that each bloom will bring a smile to your face.
  • Read Dr. Sife’s book The Loss of a Pet, 4th edition, also available as an audio book. Many people find it most helpful in dealing with their loss. It is very insightful and is the only one of its kind that has won medals and awards for helping so many. Our bibliography page has a link directly to Amazon.
  • Join the APLB and add your beloved animal companion/s to your Profile page, acknowledging your special bond; celebrate your time together and the bond you shared.
  • Check out the bibliography page for our suggestions on Pet Loss which also provide comfort and positive affirmations at this time.
  • Check out the Pet Loss Counsellors and Pet Loss Grief Specialists who specialize in the loss of a pet; have you referred to it at this stage?
woman hugging small dog

Keepsakes

  • Jewelry and art with ashes added are very popular
  • Make a shadowbox with special items that remind you of your animal companion
  • On post-its, write beautiful memories that touch your heart–one memory/post-it.  Put all the memory post-its in a large jar.  When the jar is full, start to take out one  each day and read it.  On hard days, you might want to take out an extra one, or even two. 
  • Many people are now choosing to have their beloved fur baby’s ashes put in a teddy bear or other stuffed toy, so that they can hold it and feel like they are being comforted, especially at night.