Meredith in New York writes, “I lost my beautiful cat, Nell, while I was away at college. I really didn’t get to say goodbye. Now I feel like it’s not complete somehow. Am I crazy for thinking about this so much?”
Meredith, it is perfectly natural to grieve the death of a pet, especially if you’ve had this companion for a long time and they were a part of your family.
Sometimes our peers tend to dismiss the loss of a pet, considering it to be a superficial loss. But this isn’t so. There are people who are closer to their pets than their family members. For some, they are their children.
You loved Nell dearly and she gave you friendship and love which you returned. Just like a human being, your love for her cannot be dismissed.
Take the time to grieve her death and the loss of her presence. That’s usually the most difficult part…not seeing her around to pet and play with. It often feels like an empty house without them.
Read books on Pet Loss to validate all your feelings. Don’t listen to those around you who have no compassion for your feelings. They simply don’t understand and it’s not your job to explain.
When you get home, visit where Nell is buried and bring her flowers. If she was cremated, put ribbons around her urn. You can also write your goodbye note to her, attach it to a balloon and let it go. Your little ceremony lets her know how much she is loved.