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  • Writer's pictureMarybeth Haines

The Gift of Recognition

Horse Photo courtesy of: chrisroll /

Rabbit Photo courtesy of: SOMMAI /

Did you know that research shows the human grieving process following the death of a pet is similar to that by people who have lost a family member of a close friend?

In any type of healing process, in order for the healing to take place, it’s always up to us to do the work. This can feel very overwhelming but time and time again, we prove to ourselves that we can do it!

When it comes to the area of healing from the death of a pet or animal companion, most times we tend to downplay what we are feeling and we often keep the mourning to ourselves.

We go through the emotions such as anger, worry, sadness, frustration and confusion yet we don’t tend to want to admit to the fact that we are feeling these feelings because we miss our pet.

At the workplace, usual standards dictate an allowance of 3 days bereavement leave upon the death of an immediate family member. After the 3 days have passed, we are expected to return to work and continue on as normal.

The grieving process takes much longer than 3 days and we have become accustomed by societal standards to move on quickly.

Photo courtesy of: worradmu /

Our pets are our family and friends. They are our companions, our listeners and our unconditional love.

I want to make something very clear to you; these emotions and feelings of grief over the loss of your pet is normal and natural.

Whether we have a loving pet, family member or friend, when the time comes for one to pass away through death, we feel the loss and grieve for them.

Your pet was a loving companion and an important part of your life. There is an emotional attachment that is involved and when that attachment becomes broken, you feel the loss and sadness.

This is exactly the same as with a human family member or friend. In fact, there is no difference in the emotional attachment from an animal or human. The grieving process remains the same.

Because you received unconditional love from your beloved pet, it can be sometimes more painful since our pets are so innocent and loving. Sometimes with human relationships, we don’t find the same level of unconditional love and that is why the grief and loss of a pet can be so strong.

Taking this first step in Recognition; recognizing that you are in fact grieving, acknowledging that you miss your beloved animal companion and experiencing the many emotions that follow the death of your dear friend is the very first step in your journey of healing.

Realizing that emotions and healing is okay, accepting that this is normal. Recognizing that others have experienced this before you and more will experience this after you.

Are you ready to take that step and recognize that it’s okay to grieve?

And if so, I’d like to congratulate you. By this acknowledgment of Recognition, you have now taken the next step forward onto your true healing journey.

Until next time, be good to yourself and remember to honor the feelings within.

Love and hugs,


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