Losing a pet is devastating. That pet was probably a very close family member, making it a difficult decision to later cope with. If you are a fellow pet owner, or a non-pet owner, you want to do all that you can to comfort your friend during this time of loss. What you say or do can mean a lot and help your friend deal with the loss the best way possible. Here are some ways to help with grieving the loss of a pet.
Saying a simple “I’m sorry”—If you can’t find the right words to say, just simply saying you’re sorry is enough. Your friend might not want to talk much or do much. A simple offering of your condolences is just the right amount to process when so many thoughts are going through your friend’s mind.
Give a hug—The kind act of touch is enough to ease your friend’s pain. Words are not spoken, but a hug can say it all. Your friend probably enjoyed hugging their pet and since the pet is now gone, a hug just might be what they are looking for to fill that void.
Send a sympathy card in the mail—Your friend might receive a lot of condolences the first few days before everyone goes back to their normal routine, but your friend probably hasn’t gotten over the grieving period. You friend might think that the grieving should end because everyone is busy with their lives again, but when your friend receives your card several days later in the mail, there is an understanding that it is okay to grieve a bit longer and you will be there if your friend needs to talk a week later or a month later to grieve some more.
Just be there—Sometimes words or actions simply aren’t the best thing for your friend. Just being there in silence can make all the difference. This will give your friend the opportunity to talk or cry until she/he feels better.
Say more than “I’m sorry”—Though saying your sorry is enough, there are some instances where you need or feel you should say more. Below are some ways in which you can help your friend feel better.
“I understand that you lost a good friend of yours and I’m sorry. (Pet’s Name) was lucky to have you in his/her life.”
“You were a good friend to (Pet’s Name). I’m sorry.”
“(Pet’s Name) loved you because you were so good to him/her. I’m sorry you lost him/her.”
“Losing a pet is never easy. It’s going to take time. Just know that you were loved and (Pet’s Name) was loved.
Losing a pet is never easy, but helping your friend in this time of need is. Let your friend grieve in their own special way and be a consoling friend using the tips above. Your friend will appreciate you, and their pet is probably watching happily over both of you.