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Pet Caregiver Support Blog…

One Year After Pet Loss

By Laura Wrublevski, MA, LAC

Pet memorial statute of a dog with angel wings

Pet memorial. George B2/Pixabay.

 

As a pet parent, looking back on the many firsts you had throughout a year without your precious pet can almost feel just as impactful as the first day of the grief journey.

Know that it is normal and not an isolated feeling just to you. Many pet parents experience this and may feel that they should be over their loss at this one year mark. It may be helpful to reflect and remind yourself that again, grief is something you go through and not get over.

Reflecting on the First Year After Pet Loss

 

As you think about the past year, there were probably days where you thought of your precious pet every minute of the day—and then there were those days where time passed without a thought of them.

Now as you have gone through seasons and many firsts without your pet, you wonder when and how your grief will be lessened.

As a culture, we celebrate each New Year hoping and wishing for a clean start. In a way, we may place this expectation upon ourselves as we reach that one-year mark of our loss; however, we often find ourselves not ready at all to give up the memory of our beloved pet.

And why should you?

The bond you shared was unwavering and unconditional. You will forever hold onto it as that pet was part of your world and you theirs.

Grief Outbursts Following Pet Loss

 

What can often occur as you have reached this year mark, completing that first year after pet loss, is what we refer to as “grief outbursts.”

Usually, they come up without a hint, when you thought you finished grieving.  These “outbursts” are common and healthy outputs of your sadness. They may sneak up on you at inconvenient times or possibly around a holiday, birthday, or even a “gotcha” day.

This is all part of the grieving process.

Consider the past year, perhaps even going back to the first day without your pet.

  • What have you overcome?
  • What are you still struggling with?
  • Who do you have for support?
  • Is it the right support?

All these questions will have different answers unique to who we are and may provide us some insight further into our grief journey.

For more further information or questions, email Laura.

Laura Wrublevski is a Licensed Associate Counselor in the State of New Jersey. She is a Support Circle Facilitator for Day By Day at Crown Veterinary Specialists in Lebanon, NJ.

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