The holidays are some of the happiest times of the year, filled with family and friends. Yet, they can also be the most stressful. The running around, concerns about money, whose houses you have to visit, cooking dinner. It can be quite a lot. If you are dealing with the loss of a pet on top it, it is enough to crush anyone.
Stages of Grief
It maybe a good idea to understand the grief process itself first. Here are the five stages of grief:
You go through these when losing a pet just as much as when you lose a friend or other loved one.
Take Care of Yourself
Give yourself a break. You have to take the time to step back from the holiday hustle and bustle to recharge those batteries. Perform any kind of self-care ritual that you like and breathe.
Expect the Sadness
Sadness is all part of the grieving process. Even if it is the holidays, you must allow yourself to feel sad. It is okay to be sad, no matter what anyone else might tell you. Allowing yourself the time to fully feel and process will help you be able to eventually move past the sadness. It is completely normal to feel this way and there is no need to hide it.
Give Yourself Time
Don’t think you need to pep up for the holidays. It is okay to still be grieving during this time.
It’s Okay to Say No
A lot of expectations are placed on us during the holidays. Cooking turkey, giving the best present, baking cookies, visiting grandma and your cousin Sally – but if it’s too much to handle, it is okay to say no.
Don’t bottle up your feelings. If you do this you might end up taking your pain out on someone else. Allow yourself to cry no matter what anyone else says. Crying is a healthy and natural way of releasing those emotions.
On the other hand everyone needs support, especially during such a difficult time. You can seek sport from a loved one or your veterinarian. Some veterinary practices even offer grief support.
A wonderful way to honor your pet during the holiday season is to give to a shelter or humane society in their name. You could even foster animals or work at a soup kitchen. This is a great was to give back the love and support your pet gave you to others, help you through your grieving process, and to give back to your community for the holidays.
Of course if it is a family member who is experiencing this grief, then please make sure to give them all the love and support that the need.