The final goodbye to our pet
How to overcome your loss and prepare for that moment
pets20 November 2019
Facing the loss of a pet is a very sad time and a very hard blow for the whole family. Here we explain a little of how to overcome the grief and sadness for the loss of your animal friend.
Pets become true members of our families. But, an animal's life is usually shorter than that of a human, so, just as we enjoy their presence and seek their happiness in life, we need to learn to say goodbye to them from love and respect.
This is a moment that we all know is going to come, but nonetheless it is still hard to face because of the great love we have for our animal companions. In order to experience the moment of their passing serenely, it is important to know that animals live death in a natural way. They do not come here to live long, but to live well and be happy.
If we have given our pet a life of joy and happiness, that is our great gift. And, although we will of course feel the pain of loss, we will also be able to experience the farewell with acceptance.
The mourning period
To overcome the death of a pet it is also important to know that we must necessarily pass through a mourning period, and not try to force ourselves to be well or not to miss them. Studies show that the death of our pet affects us emotionally in the same way that the death of a loved one does. Therefore, we must be kind to ourselves and respect our pain.
To accompany the animal - in the case that death is due to old age or disease and we are lucky enough to be able to say goodbye - today there is a lot of information available, and even 'doulas of the animal soul', who accompany both animal and families in the 'final straight'. Their goal is to help us understand the phases through which our 'companion' will pass and how to accompany him or her until their last breath.
For the children
If we have other animals at home, we will be able to observe how they naturally take their leave of the animal that will die. This can be a great learning opportunity, seeing that although the animals feel the loss of their companion, they live in the present and this helps them to recover when faced with such loss.
If we have children in the family, we can tell them the legend of the Rainbow Bridge, which is that when the animals die, they cross that bridge and arrive at a beautiful place full of meadows and hills where they spend the day running and playing with other animals. According to this legend, the souls of animals and the humans who have shared their lives will meet again one day in this beautiful place and will never be separated again.
It is also emotional and reassuring to perform a family farewell ceremony, to reminisce about the great moments lived together, which can now be stored in the heart forever. You can also prepare a box in which each family member puts a photograph or an object of the pet and that will be kept in order to always have a memory of their passage through our lives.
Once the animal has died, it is necessary to carry out certain bureaucratic procedures that the veterinarian tell us about, such as incineration, cancellation of the identification microchip, removal from the census of the City Council and making decisions about the animal's burial, since the law prohibits burying animals in unauthorised places.
In Spain there are already cemeteries for animals, where it is possible to go and visit them, just as we do with people: the Sena Cemetery and Crematorium of Animals in Montserrat (Valencia), The Last Park in Madrid and the Cemetery of Small Animals in Torrelletes from Llobregat (Barcelona) are some examples.
As a novelty, in order to have a keepsake, some of these cemeteries and also other companies offer jewellery such as pendants and bracelets to carry the ashes of the animal, apart from the traditional urn that we may have at home or in the cemetery.
So, even if bidding farewell to our pet is one of the most difficult moments of our lives, what is certain is that we will always guard their memory in our hearts.