When Your Animal Angel Moves On

Lifting Your Spirits After Pet Loss

By Sulana Stone

Pets are best friends to many people. Sometimes these furry, feathered, gilled and scaly creatures are the only beings people feel completely comfortable around. With dog or donkey, cat or chameleon, pig or parrot—we open our hearts fully. We share our deepest secrets and confidences. We feel free to express our true selves.

English novelist, George Elliot muses, “Animals are such agreeable friends—they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.” These kindly critters don’t care how we look or what we do for a living. They don’t judge us for our shortcomings. They’re not jealous of our successes. Pets accept us just as we are—in all our messiness. And in our magnificence.

There’s a healing essence that pets freely give their human companions. They accept us whether or not we feel we deserve love. Their antics make us laugh. Their presence makes us care.

When we lose a pet buddy, intense emotions can arise. And naturally so. One of our closest friends and confidants is gone. Who else do we feel so accepted by? Who else makes us feel so good? So alive? So connected to life? Who else makes us smile and chuckle so easily?

When we feel the loss of an animal friend, how can we move through the roller coaster of emotions to feeling good again?

Tools for Uplifting Your Spirit

“Man, unlike the animals, has never learned that the sole purpose of life is to enjoy it.” – Samuel Butler, 19th century English novelist

If we observe our fellow creatures, we find many animals show feelings of loss. We can see and feel cats and dogs who display low energy, lose their appetites and may even cry when they lose their babies. In taking cues from these same pets, we also discover that they soon move through their feelings and begin to enjoy life once again.

For people it’s natural to feel any or all of the emotions around losing a pet. And it’s healthy to keep moving through these emotions until you feel better. If you’re feeling stuck and need some assistance, taking specific action to free yourself of debilitating emotions will help you feel better. Some suggestions:

1. Talk with animal-loving friends

A friend who has experienced the loss of a pet—and knows how to listen—can provide a safe place for you to work through your feelings. Some friends are not comfortable with the powerful waves of emotions that can pop up. Use your intuition to choose someone who can be supportive of where you are and gives you plenty of room to experience your feelings. Sometimes friends may not have the tools to assist you to fully integrate your emotions, and you feel as if you’re on a not-so-merry-go-round. If you don’t find complete relief with friends, you may want to consult a professional counselor or animal communicator who knows how to help you integrate emotions.

2. Confide in a counselor

The right therapist can help you move through your feelings until you regain your sense of joy and peace. You want to move beyond gaining an intellectual understanding of the grief process. For your own health and joyful future, find a counselor who specializes in helping people experience and integrate their feelings—not just express feelings. Expressing feelings can provide temporary relief. Experiencing feelings will provide permanent healing.

3. Contact an animal communicator

Locate an animal communicator who knows how to help people experience their emotions over the loss of a pet. Some communicators are great with talking to pets and lack experience in talking with people. Use your instinct and gut to find the right communicator for you. Contact the communicator and tell them what you would like to do. Ask them if they can assist you.

4. Hold a wake or memorial service

Whether you bury or cremate your pet, hold a wake or memorial service. Honoring your beloved pet with a special service can help bring you peace. Write the words of the memorial yourself. Reading the words aloud to yourself or others many times before the service can give you emotional release.

5. Celebrate “magnificent moments”

Recall the fun times when you two were together. As much as you can energetically, re-experience the joy, the laughter, the connection. Let the enjoyment of the “magnificent moments” soothe your soul.

6. Talk soul-to-soul with your pet

Talking soul-to-soul (heart-to-heart) is easier than most folks believe. All it takes is the openness and willingness to “talk” honestly. From the deep feeling place, just tell the truth. Tell your pet how you feel. And let yourself feel deeply as you talk. Share your concerns. Ask any questions that you may have. After each question, pause. Get quiet. Go inside. “Feel” for an answer. The answer may or may not come in words. Stay alert for an energetic shift. When you feel different, you received a response. Trust the energetic shift. Trust yourself to know.

7. Pen a poem or story about your pet

Writing “therapy” is fun and healing. Writing can bring up hidden memories and emotions that once fully experienced—rather than ignored—will assist you to feel more joy in your life.

8. Write a letter to your pet

Writing a letter is similar to talking soul-to soul. When you write the truth and allow yourself to emotionally respond to what you’re writing, you can experience a dramatic shift in how you feel. You may also be able to connect with your pet through writing. Simply ask your pet to be with you as you write. If you want to, write a question to your pet. And be open to inspiration from your pet in helping you to write a response to your question.

9. Craft a pet photo album or scrap book

Gathering pictures and mementos of your pet can assist you to re-experience the happiness the two of you shared.

10. Create an altar with items that remind you of your pet

Putting the favorite items of pawed, clawed, hooved and finned friend in a special place can help you tap back into the times when you let in the energetic gifts your buddy came to give you: joy, beauty, grace, freedom, playfulness, adventure, compassion.

11. Immerse yourself in the love you feel for your pet

During a quiet time, such as meditation or prayer, recall a time when you were filled with love for your friend. Stay as long as you can and let the love you felt then fill you now.  Breathe the love into every fiber of your body. Feel the joy deeply in your muscles and bones.

12. Spend time in Nature

“Speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee.” – Job 12:8

Mother Nature is the Great Healer. The flowers, trees, bushes, animals, birds, lizards, insects, rocks, streams, ponds, sounds, fragrances, textures, beauty, wind, sun, rain, clouds … all of Nature will support you in finding your wholeness and your happiness again. The magical key is to allow Nature to touch you. Feel the tease of the breeze in your hair. Feel the warmth of the sun on your skin. Dangle your hands and feet in a creek and let it wash away the intense, heavy or numb feelings. Then allow the water to bring you harmony, lightness and joyful feelings.