Two Situations in Which You Might Need to Talk to a Counsellor After Your Pet Dies

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If you have been left heartbroken by your pet's recent passing and you're in one of the two situations outlined below, then you should consider talking to a counsellor about this matter.

Your friends and relatives don't have pets and can't understand your grief

When a person has a pet for several years, they can become deeply attached to them and feel devastated when that creature passes away. However, people who have never had pets before or who are not particularly fond of animals might not understand the grief that an individual can experience when their pet dies.

If the people in your life are like this and they cannot, therefore, empathise with you, they may be somewhat confused by or even scornful of your sadness because, for them, your pet was 'just an animal'. This can make the loss of your pet all the more painful, as you might feel that no-one understands what you're going through and that you cannot express your anguish without someone telling you're being melodramatic or silly.

If this is the case, then you must not try to soldier on without expressing your sadness. Instead, you should look online for a counselling service that offers pet bereavement support. This will give you a chance to talk about how traumatising your pet's death was for you, be open about the emotions their passing has brought up (such as despair, anger, etc.) or simply cry in the presence of someone who not only will not mock you for having this intense reaction to an animal's death but who will actually sympathise and support you whilst you grieve.

You are still feeling deeply distressed by your pet's passing after several months

It is normal and healthy to grieve for a while when a pet that you loved dearly dies. However, if you're still feeling deeply distressed by your pet's passing several months after they died, then you should take advantage of your local counselling service.

If you're not able to move on from this incident, this could be a sign that there are some issues related to your pet's death that you need to talk about and resolve. For example, your ongoing distress might indicate that you feel some guilt about your pet's passing; this might be the case if it took you a while to notice their illness and their disease was terminal by the time you got them diagnosed or if a motorist ran over them when you took them off their leash during a walk.

In this situation, you must address the psychological obstacles that are preventing you from truly accepting your pet's death, from forgiving yourself for any role you may have inadvertently played in it and from moving on with your life. A counsellor can give you the support, reassurance and advice that you need to accomplish these things.