Respect for feelings, respect for the companion we lost. Respect is so important, we are going through such a difficult time, and for many of us we have never faced this sort of loss before. There is no textbook or manual to tell us what to feel or how to grieve.
Grief is as individual as we are. Our circumstances, our pets, our bond is unique to us. So respect for others: Ok, so there will be those out there that don't understand the loss, or why someone would be so upset. Those people who say "it's just a........" those that say "it's not a human why are you so upset?" those that say "can't you just get another one?" You may have encountered such people, you may be friends with such people or related to or living with people that have these opinions.
So, here's the thing:
For those grieving: You are not: 1.Going mad
You are: In pain, Grieving,Experiencing something you may feel unprepared for.
Be kind to yourself, don't try to push through and move aside your feelings because you feel that it is what is expected, or that you are being told that you should. This is your grief and however you feel and process it is right for you.
But if you feel overwhelmed or are not sure how to cope, get in touch with a pet bereavement counsellor or a service such as The Blue Cross, or information on the Ralph site www.theralphsite.com
There will be times when you are faced with others who have not heard from you for a while or have no idea what happened. They will ask where your pet is, how have you been, what are you going to do. You may worry about what to say, or how you will react. But you have control over this, you can decide how much you want to say and to whom. ' I don't want to talk about this' or 'can we talk about something else please' are both ways to cut short an uncomfortable questioning or encounter. You don't have to explain anything to anyone if you don't feel up to it.
Others should respect your personal space and feelings at this time, but you must also be respectful, grieving needn't make us rude. You may bump into people that you normally spoke to while walking your dog and for this reason, some may avoid going along that path or route. We may avoid places we normally went to for fear of being asked a question we are not ready to answer out loud. Please remember that the people we knew through our pets are only trying to help, they are only trying to keep the friendship going. If you feel up to talking then do so, and if they ask then you can always either talk about this or say something like 'another time maybe'.
As fellow pet owners, they will understand but we don't always know what to say to someone else. If you know what would help you out a bit then please tell others, they cannot help if they don't know what you need.
Respect the bereaved, respect their space and feelings. Respect one another because we don't know what someone is truly going through. Be kind.