To some families, a pet is really nothing more than that: a pet; in such families, pets tend to pretty much come and go, and there is no significant attachment involved, as these pets are simply fun to have around, and enjoyable to interact with, but are not truly important members of the family. But then, on the other hand, there are those families for whom a pet becomes like an actual member of the family, bonding with the family and creating memories, and becoming a true friend to everyone in the household; for families with pets such as these, the loss of a pet can really hit hard – can feel, in fact, almost the same as the loss of a family member would feel – and for such families, it is important to understand some of the things one can do in order to aid the grieving process and get over the loss of a pet.
The first thing that will be important for you to realize – something that is extremely important, in fact, to realize right off the bat – is that it is not only “okay” to mourn, but is in fact “good” to mourn; when you mourn the loss of your pet, it helps to provide, in your mind and emotions, a sense of permanence regarding their departure, cementing in your mind and in your heart the understanding that they are, indeed gone – so first things first: allow yourself some time to mourn.
On top of making sure you have allowed yourself to mourn the loss of your pet, it will also have a very positive effect on you – both in the short term and in the long term – for you to find a way to honor their memory immediately after they have passed on; this means that you should take the time and make the effort to hold something resembling an actual funeral for them, or to at least set up a time and place in which those who knew the pet can share their favorite memories or moments they shared with the pet.
It is also going to be vital that you find a way to honor their memory in the long run – for instance, getting an engraved, commemorative chest in which you can store their ashes, or even getting a beautiful, custom-made, glass-blown pendant you can wear around your neck and bring with you wherever you go, with a sprinkling of their ashes contained inside; by doing something such as this – honoring their memory in a permanent sort of way – you will be able to feel good about the manner in which you have moved on from the loss of your pet, without moving on from the pet itself.
And finally, it will be good for you to realize that it is always a good step to get a new pet – but you should make sure you have waited a little while before getting one, or else this new pet will always feel like a “replacement” for the old pet, which will make it difficult for you to form a new bond, with a new, loving pet that can become part of your family and your memories to come!