Pet Bereavement at Christmas
Pet Bereavement at Christmas and Finding Ways to Cope: Christmas can be a very difficult time of year, this year more than any other. Our pets have been our sanity, our joy and our hope this year so you might feel the loss even more sharply.
Christmas always brings back our pet memories, time does heal eventually but certain times of the year or day are always tougher than others. If this is your first Christmas without your pet then you might be worrying about how you will cope.
We have a few ideas for surviving Christmas but everyone is different so please do speak to others who have been through the experience, they may have some helpful advice. There are also lots of great charities who have great support websites which can be useful even if you don’t feel up to or going along to one of their groups.
Make sure you know what you want to do
Christmas is a stressful time and many demands are placed on you by family, friends and colleagues. This year we will be experiencing our very first coronavirus Christmas so there are even more demands and stresses. Do take time to think about how you want to spend the day so that you can deal with requests. You may want to do something completely different, or, you may prefer to gather your close family/household around you. It might be a good idea to keep plans flexible so that you can decide when you know how you feel and change your plans if you want to.
Remember your beloved pet at yuletide.
Some people find it helpful to take time to remember their beloved pet, this might include visiting and spending some time, if you are able, to the place where you have buried or scattered their ashes, or at a place that was special to them.
Make time to look through photos or memories with family and friends, it’s good to talk about them and the vital part they played in your life.
Look after yourself this Christmas
It is very important to nurture yourself during this difficult time of the year, let others look after you if that is possible. You can do simple things for yourself like having a restorative hot bath with candles. Cook yourself a heart-warming soup or make a super nice hot-chocolate with lots of marshmallows. We have all seen the countless articles and programmes about the benefit of getting outside into nature and allowing it to lift our spirits. I do appreciate that if you have lost your walking companion then the thought of going for a walk might make you feel very sad but it will help. Maybe try walking somewhere that you never have before, or if you can get to the seaside then the bracing breeze will help.
Christmas is a time of over-indulgence and there is often a lot of alcohol being offered, whilst drowning the pain may seem like a good idea it is only a temporary solution and please remember it is a depressant. Exercise, if you can manage it, will make you feel much better in the long-term.
There is no right or wrong way to grieve.
Grief is as individual as you are and your beloved pet was, there is no right way to grieve and also there is no wrong way. If your emotions take over on the day, don’t feel alarmed, it’s perfectly natural. Just take some time to yourself. Keep talking and remember to be kind to yourself.
Blue Cross is a brilliant organisation that offers lots of helpful advice in general and support during bereavement. Their support phone line 0800 096 6606 is available all week.
The Cats Protection League has a page dedicated to dealing with grief and whilst it doesn’t specifically mention Christmas their phone line 0800 024 94 94 is available Monday to Friday apart from bank holidays and you can upload a photo of your cat onto their memory wall for no charge.
Support for Pet Loss this Christmas
Pet bereavement at Christmas. Don’t forget you can sign-up to my 12 step pet bereavement guide that has lots of helpful advice for coping with the loss of your special family member. And there is lots of helpful advice on our website.
Sending you all lots and love and kindness