I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything… About a week and a half ago, we lost a cherished member of our family, our beautiful six year old Sphynx, Dobby. His death was very sudden and completely unexpected. He died from a blot clot in the heart resulting from a genetic condition we were unaware of. I’m not sure if losing him so quickly makes it more or less difficult. Dobby was unlike any cat I’ve met before. He was mischievous, lazy, loving, and full of personality. He would sleep in the bed, wait at the front door with the dogs when he heard mum’s car pulling up, and come when called. The shock of his death is still quite fresh, and it feels so strange to be speaking of him in past-tense.
Since his passing, I feel like I’ve sort of “lost my mojo” when it comes to being productive and staying on top of tasks. Having completed a psychology degree, I know how important it is to be emotionally resilient, but I also know that grief is a process. In saying that, I have never experienced the death of a pet before, and although I expected it to be difficult, I never anticipated the physical pain that accompanies loss. I know many people don’t view pets the same they would other members of the family, but to me there is little difference- it doesn’t hurt any less.
Anyway, the main point of this post (aside from explaining my absence) is to encourage self-care after losing a pet. It is so important to take care of yourself when experiencing grief- for some people that might mean taking a day or two off work to be alone and process the situation, while for others that might mean sitting with friends and family sharing funny pictures and stories of your pet. For me, I think one of the best ways to help myself was to help those around me. Providing comfort and strength to my family helped me to find my own comfort and strength. I found that sometimes thinking of all the funny and annoying things Dobby did made me feel better, while sometimes it made me feel worse. Grief is a process, and everyone handles it differently- not necessarily better or worse- just differently.
Although it may not seem like it right away, dealing with the loss of a pet does get easier with time. After a while, you won’t be so sad. You won’t want to cry whenever you think of your pet. You will be able to remember the funny and annoying things your pet did, and you’ll just smile :)