The Loss of a Beloved Pet

By: Kate Nypaver
Friday, July 12, 2019

We love our pets. They make us laugh and smile, help us through tough times, give us purpose. So when they pass away, they leave a hole in our hearts that we find very difficult to fill.

A pet is often an ever-present companion, wanting attention, expecting to play, hoping for cuddles and treats. They are constantly at our side, whether on the couch, bed, or sitting at the dining table. So naturally, it’s hard to adjust when they’re gone.

They also give us purpose. Our pets rely on us to feed them, give them water and shelter, and take care of them. We find a sense of purpose through being a pet owner, and it becomes a part of our identity. When that changes, we almost have to rediscover who we are.

It goes without saying, but animals provide copious amounts of emotional support. Who got you through that bad layoff? Buddy did. Who stuck by your side through all those anxiety attacks? The was Miss Pretty. We rely on our animals for their companionship, support, and constant source of comfort. So of course, when all of that is gone, it’s hard to get by.

Some say the toughest part is the silence in our homes after our pet dies. Animals create a good bit of noise that we grow accustomed to (unless you have a dog who loves to bark. That’s very noticeable). When they’re gone, we no longer hear the pit-pat of their paws on the kitchen floor, the tags rattling when they hop onto the couch, the rumbling when they race up the steps, and of course, the meows and barks. Even birds, rats, hamsters, and lizards make some noise in their cages. The silence is uncomfortable, and reminds us who we’re missing.

But the grief doesn’t last forever. Eventually, most people do end up getting another pet that becomes an addition but not a replacement, serving their purpose as companion and source of comfort and joy. They make us smile again, give us purpose again, but they have big paw-prints to fill.

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