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How To Cope With The Death Of A Pet

How To Cope With The Death Of A Pet

Months have passed, but I’m still grieving the passing of Chelsea. She was a German Shepherd who was not just a pet to me, but family. As I continue to mourn the loss of our beloved family pet, I have realized that there were steps that helped me get through her passing. Now, I want to remind you that every person grieves differently. Some of my methods may work for you, while others will fall flat. The important thing to remember is that the ones that can help you will help you.

1. I acknowledged that I was grieving. 

Psychology has established that once you accept you are grieving, you have minimized the problem by 50%. On the contrary, denying that you’re grieving doesn’t help at all. It has the opposite effect on the situation. Just because other people find it weird that you’re crying over the death of a pet doesn’t mean it’s not good for you.

Denial of the truth always warps your feelings and your balance. Refusing to admit that you lost in a competition is not healthy, either – not accepting that you did not win the hand of your lady love is detrimental to your sanity. And denial of the fact that your pet is dead is not good for you, as well.

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So go ahead, grieve. This has a cleansing effect on your overall makeup and it’s part of the process you have to go through.

2. I Got busy.

Go through number one, but go back to the same routines you did before the sad event happened. Busyness will allow you to focus on other things while grieving. This will lessen the impact of your loss, in some ways. In relation to this, I’m aware that there are many materials on psychology sites and books that teach the contradicting point that busyness, or any form of distraction, will help for a time, but won’t help you truly heal in the long run. However, my experience tells a different story. By being busy, I have put myself in a better position to cope with Chelsea’s passing.

So my suggestion is to get back to the groove as soon as you can manage it. If, like me, you write for a living, go back to writing once you gain the strength to do so. Dive into the daily activities you used to do. In case you remember your pet while working, acknowledge it. Don’t deny it, and give yourself a break for a few moments. Take note – your breaks should not be too long, but not too short, either. After the first few days of the incident, give yourself longer breaks, but as you go along the process, take shorter breaks. It worked for me. I hope it will for you, too.

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Chelsea and me_resized
    Me and Chelsea during her prime

    3. I Talked it out.

    Talk to people who can relate to your grieving. Friends who have experienced grieving the death of a pet will help a lot. In case you know someone who is going through the same situation like yours, at the same time, that would be great. Seek out that person, and spent time together even just for one hour every week. Talking it out with someone going through the same experience is beneficial for your condition. Support from people who understand during this time is an effective pain buffer.

    Another idea that you can do, if you’re up to it, is to organize a small group of pet owners. Meet with them every week and bond with them. I’m pretty sure some of them have experienced losing a dear dog companion. Or, if not, then simply talking with them will help to ease the pain. It would be wise because, like you, they are pet parents. You can chat with them about your sad experience. Experts say that speaking to others who understand losing a pet can provide support to people like you who are mourning.

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    4. I memorialized Chelsea.

    Dr. Amir Shanan, DVM, and owner of Compassionate Veterinary Hospice, recommends gathering family and friends to reminisce the good times you’ve had with your pet. Based on this idea, here’s a personal recommendation – write a letter to your pet. I know, that sounds a little strange and hard if you’re not used to expressing your emotions in writing, but this may help clarify your grief and sadness of losing your beloved pet. A well produced video, a framed photo, or an album of the pet’s photos can help remind a pet parent of their dog companion.

    A different way to memorialize that some people do is to keep their pet’s ashes and bury them in their pet’s favorite spot. What my wife and I did was different. We made a photo album of Chelsea. When we miss her, we bring out the album and talk about her incessantly. If we feel like crying, we just let go, and we cry together.

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    chelsea and tony_lifehack
      A three month old Chelsea, posing with me

      5. I spend significant time with another pet (Do this when you are ready). 

      I have a big advantage over other people who have lost a pet. My Chelsea has a daughter named Reigne and she lives with us. When Chelsea passed away, I made sure Reigne was getting the best of care. Since I got so busy with my freelance writing business during Chesea’s last months with us, I’m partly blaming myself for her death. But this is an entirely normal reaction of people who are grieving. The thing is – the presence of a pet who is a direct descendant of the one who passed away made things easier for me. The thought that Reigne has Chelsea’s blood somehow comforts me.

      I made a point to give the utmost care Reigne needed. I made sure her meals were given on time, consistently. I religiously go to the vet for her regular check up. Her vet check her for ticks, unusual developments, and anything else I can keep on top of to make her even healthier.

      6. I talk to her even today.

      I know this is a bit weird, but it’s one of my coping mechanisms. Every time I pass by her house and favorite spot – yes, her doghouse is still there – I say “Hello, Chelsea!” Call me crazy, but I still do this even now. It’s been 10 months, but this little gesture helps me cope with her absence. In fact, I just talked with my wife minutes ago, and I told her, when I will finally get another dog companion, I will take home another German Shepherd.

      With my wonderful experiences with Chelsea, I have developed a biased preference for the sweet loyalty of German Shepherds. Chelsea was extra loyal, friendly to the highest degree, and astonishingly intelligent. Call me sentimental if you must, but when I will finally bring home that new dog friend, I think I will name her Chelsea again.

      Featured photo credit: Nikkors n Chips/Photo Credit: Nikkors n Chips via Compfight cc via compfight.com

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      Anthony Dejolde

      TV/Radio personality who educates his audience on entrepreneurship, productivity, and leadership.

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      Last Updated on October 16, 2019

      20 Invaluable Things Money Can’t Buy

      20 Invaluable Things Money Can’t Buy

      George Lorimer contends,

      “It’s good to have money and all the things that money can buy, but it’s good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven’t lost the things money can’t buy.”

      In reality, everyone likes money. It has enough power to determine happy or sad moments for some people. This happens partially because money can trigger your emotions. However, there are many invaluable things money can’t buy.

      Money will allow you to experience the luxury of things like a Tesla, an estate, or first-class tickets to anywhere in the world. But, money cannot buy you everything. There are aspects of your life, yourself, relationships, and encounters that forever will be priceless.

      So, what are 20 invaluable things money can’t buy?

      1. Love

      You must have seen this one coming because of how much it is preached throughout life.

      Love is a genuine action with beautiful emotions that develops between people who know each other to an extent.

      People fall in “love” for different reasons. Love is unconditional and keeps people in connection with each other.

      Money may earn you attraction and attention, but love? Not at all.

      2. True Friends

      Everyone likes to have money because there’s almost no way to survive if we didn’t have a cent or two. And it’s only normal for people to associate themselves with people who are making efforts to make the money.

      But sometimes, people are only attracted to what you have and what you can give; not who you are.

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      It works just like love. When your money runs low, true friends should remain.

      3. Family

      We all know that family consists of a father, mother, and children, so let’s consider the individual elements.

      A father is only a father as a result of the relationship between him and his child. Can money buy a relationship?

      The same concept applies to the mother and child and if a relationship with a father cannot be bought, then neither can one with a mother nor child be bought.

      Even if it’s an extended family, you still have to have a relationship with someone who connects you to the other person. It’s not rocket science.

      4. Wisdom

      Someone defined wisdom as “the mother of knowledge,” and how does one acquire knowledge? He or she receives it from experience.

      So, if you cannot buy experience, then you cannot buy knowledge. And if you cannot buy both, then wisdom is definitely out of your league. You have to study, meet people and just experience life to earn it.

      5. Happiness

      In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt,

      “Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.”

        Mrs. Roosevelt even acknowledges things money can’t buy. She emphasizes that money can’t buy happiness.

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        Despite all the money a person may have in the bank, he or she still may not have the happiness that we all crave and deserve. Money cannot afford happiness.

        6. Health

        Money can help us afford the best health care services, but health itself? Not exactly.

        We’ve seen millionaires and billionaires lose their lives to a range of diseases that all their money put together could not cure.

        The Dalai Lama said,

        “What surprises me most is ‘man’ because he sacrifices his health to make money then he sacrifices his money to recuperate his health.”

          So, besides the fact that it doesn’t buy us health, sometimes the pursuit of it takes good health away from us.

          7. Long life

          During birthdays, we wish people a long, prosperous and healthy life. Money would be the best gift to send to loved ones to buy these things.

          But since you can’t, you wish these individuals the best life has to offer. You may also give them fun and loving experiences without money.

          8. Time

          The universe has been impartial enough to give us all 24 hours to do whatever we want to. But nobody, with all his or her wealth, has been able to purchase an extra hour, not even a second.

          9. Respect

          They say it is reciprocal. In other words, you can only get respect when you give respect and the last time we checked, there was no money for respect.

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          So if you can’t give something in any currency, then you can’t receive it in any currency either.

          10. Character

          Character is the sum of a person’s attitude. Attitude has to do with the way you behave and although money can influence a person’s character, it cannot buy a good one.

          11. Confidence

          Any “confidence” built on money really isn’t confidence. It’s a shade of pride and usually ends in sheer show-off. That, dear friend, is not confidence. Confidence is a quality you build with time.

          12. Beauty

          There are countless beauty products in the market and all of them cost money. These beauty products can only enhance beauty by covering up blemishes and some go as far as altering some features of the body.

          But none has been able to change the natural beauty of anybody. If you consider surgery, then you are still altering the natural features, not changing it. You can’t buy good looks from your mother’s womb. It’s just not possible.

          13. Sense of Humor

          Some individuals are born with the gift to make others laugh. Most of the comedians around became wealthy as a result of their sense of humor.

          The humor did not come after the money. Nobody became funny overnight because of a swell in their bank account.

          14. Trust

          Why do you trust people? Because they’ve proved themselves to be trustworthy by character. Their character earned them that trust.

          15. Talent

          Talent is a natural skill that has to be discovered and honed. Just like beauty and every other thing that comes naturally, talent cannot be purchased.

          16. Purpose

          People attend conferences and seminars to help them discover their purpose in life. These conferences may be free or paid but the money did not buy them the purpose.

          They already had the purpose way before realizing that they needed to find it. Lots of poor people discovered their purpose and leveraged it to become rich. This goes on to illustrate that money can come as a result of finding purpose but it cannot get you the purpose.

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          17. Satisfaction

          If there’s one thing that money can never buy, it is satisfaction. Even if money finds a way to get any of the other items on this list, it can never afford satisfaction. Money increases our desire for more money. The more the money, the more the hunger.

          18. Empathy

          Never have we ever heard of a man who bought the ability to empathize and never would we ever because empathy is a feeling. Feelings cannot be bought.

          19. Peace

          Why do people employ sophisticated security systems? Because they want to have peace when they go to bed but even with all of that, peace has never been received in exchange for money. It comes as a result of a clear conscience and a good heart.

          Ironically, money may bring enemies which would end up disrupting your peace.

          20. A Good Name

          A proverb says “a good name is better than silver.” This is like comparing two different things: a name and silver (which could be referred to as money).

          What is a “name?” It is a form of identity and how is it received? Your way of life and character helps people to receive you.

          Conclusion

            Overall, these things are invaluable and confidently show that money can’t buy everything.

            While this is the case, money is necessary, so don’t quit your job just because it can’t buy you happiness. And do spend your money and time wisely.

            Also, go out of your way to make people happy. Their money can’t provide this needed emotion. Do not lose or mismanage your health trying to get money.

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            Featured photo credit: Yingchou Han via unsplash.com

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