When will I get over my loss?

Question:

I had a memorial service for my dog, but I still feel devastated by the loss. What can I do?

Answer:

What a beautiful way to honor a beloved pet in your life. A memorial service is a one of the many healing rituals that we can do to help us along our grief journey, a journey that will still require more work from you to heal your broken heart.

You may feel that by having this service, you should be better because you have had “closure.” The ceremonial tribute is actually a ritual done not so much for closure but as an opportunity to relive and remember the life shared with your pet. In all actuality, this ritual was a way to say “hello” on your way to saying “good-bye.” It was not a means of “closure” but a means of a “beginning” into your grief journey. You have loved and you have lost. Your pain will take time to heal. In addition, if you will take the time to hurt, you will find that you WILL heal.

As you make your way through the grief process, keep the following in mind:

  • Acknowledging the death of your precious pet
  • Allow yourself to hurt from the death
  • Remember your pet and pay tribute
  • Find your faith and feelings for your heart
  • Find your new role and responsibilities without your beloved pet
  • Find your friends for support

These are not stages or steps, they are YOUR needs. The memorial service was a beautiful way to acknowledge YOUR needs in paying tribute to this love in your life.

Your grief journey will take your heart into the depths of emotions. This is very healthy in your grief journey and in bringing yourself to a place of a “new normal” in your life. Because you allowed yourself to hurt and heal by “backing up and saying hello on your way to good-bye” with your beautiful memorial service, your “new normal” will, in time, certainly be one of fond memories.