Reducing Pet Loss Guilt

Here are a few tips that I thought were particularly interesting…
 
The Eternal Paw Prints Team 
 
Tips to Reduce Pet Loss Guilt
By Karen Litzinger, Author of Heal Your Heart: Coping with the Loss of a Pet
 
Guilt is a natural part of the grieving process resulting from a real or perceived failure.  It is easy to get stuck in the grip of guilt from excessive “could haves” and “should haves.”  Since our pets are as dependent on us as children, we can feel more guilt in the death of a pet than many other deaths, since we feel such caretaking responsibility.  It is important to realize we are human and cannot control everything, to forgive ourselves, and to allow our energy to move toward healing.
 
Pet Talk – Imagine or write down what your pet would want for you or say to you. Likely, it would not be critical, but more like “I know how much you loved me, and appreciate how you took care of me throughout my life.  Allow the unconditional love I shared with you to be how you treat yourself now.”  Another angle is to write a letter to your pet first, and then your companion’s response.
 
Good Things List – Make a list of all the good things you did for your pet throughout his or her lifetime to remind yourself that the positive caretaking outweighs any mistake you may have made.
 
Simply Talking – Externalizing your feelings with anyone supportive can help disrupt the internal negative self talk and may provide an objective view.  This is best in combination with other strategies.

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