Phone and Online Support
One of grief’s greatest healers is time but time heals only if we allow ourselves to grieve. Never be embarrassed for having strong grief feelings about the death of your beloved pet. You are not alone. Phone and online support can help you through this difficult time.
When Does the Grieving End?
The honest answer is that it never completely ends. There will always be sadness and we will never forget, nor would we want to forget a life so dear to us; but the devastating emotions of new grief do become less intense over time. Time can soften the hard edges of grief, but time alone does not heal grief. Only grieving heals grief. When we are grieving, we cannot imagine ever feeling better, but trust that the raw emotions of new grief will subside if we allow for their expression.
The Turning Point in Grief Healing
I have read that you know you are healing when you think about your loved one's life more than the circumstances surrounding the death. Another turning point in grief healing is when the memories of your cherished pet bring more comfort than pain. A part of us dies when a pet dies—the life we shared is gone. But if we allow ourselves to grieve, we will find one day that our beloved companion lives on in the life we create after loss.
You Are Not Alone
Support is available from several sources. Your veterinarian can answer questions and reassure you about your decisions. Talk to an understanding friend. Read a message board, chat online or join a pet loss support group.
You can also find phone support. The goal of a pet loss hotline is to help you understand that you are not alone. It is important to talk about your loss and express your sorrow. Never be embarrassed for having strong grief feelings about the death of your beloved pet. While the trained staff members cannot take your pain away, they can comfort you because they are good listeners.
If you believe that social media would be supportive during your time of sorrow, please use it, but I never recommend social media outlets for the expression of new grief. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be risky places to grieve. Only you can decide if it is right for you.
Resources and Support
ASPCA National Pet Loss Hotline:
(Daily 12 PM - 12 AM)
1- 877- 474- 3310 (1-877-GRIEF10)
The Cornell Pet Loss Support Hotline is available via Google Voice for support Wednesdays from 6 - 9 p.m. EST and Sundays from 12 - 3 p.m. EST. Google Voice will prompt you to enter your name before connecting, however to remain anonymous you can say “anonymous” or just enter your first name.
6-9pm EST Mon-Fri
No cost to use but requires creation of free membership account
When to seek help after experiencing the death of a companion pet