No One Understands My Grief
My Pet Has Died and No One Understands My Grief. What Should I Do?
Losing a pet can be a very difficult situation for several reasons. People work through sadness and grief in many different ways. It is important to understand that your experience of grief related to pet loss is unique to you and no one has the right to judge your feelings or to tell you, “to just get over it.”
It is important to be patient with yourself and understand that you will heal at a pace that is right for you. You may experience doubt about whether your feelings are normal.
Finding support and validation is important. Often friends or family are at a loss as to what to say or are not sure how to support someone experiencing pet loss. There are resources one can utilize such as: a pet loss support group in your local community, books on pet loss, as well as individual therapy.
Be gentle and caring with yourself. It is important to attend to self-care such as: adequate rest, nutrition and exercise. With time your heart can heal, be patient and compassionate with yourself.
Wendy A. Khentigan, M.D. graduated from New York Medical College. She completed her residency in psychiatry at the University of California San Diego where she served as a chief resident during her final year. She is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. She is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. She has completed her certification in Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy, a technique particularly effective in addressing grief as well as trauma. She has been in private practice in Encinitas since 1994. A lifelong animal lover, she has a special interest in animal welfare and the people who care for animals.