- by Colleen Doerksen, Open Skies Coaching & Counselling Associates
The comfort of a pet is especially desirable to singles and seniors as they are companions when there is no one else around. Certainly, in times of this pandemic, many of us have only had the company of a dear pet, so the loss of our companion, loved one, and cherished pet can be especially difficult. It is important to remember to stay connected with friends and family whenever possible. Having lost a pet, it’s important that you don’t spend day after day alone. Try to spend time with at least one supportive, and maybe animal loving, person every day. Regular personal visits can help ward off depression and stay positive. And if you know of someone who has suffered a loss, give them a call, meet them for coffee (now that we can again!), or invite then to go for a walk. It’s the time and the connection that is important here.
Boost your mood with exercise. It’s important to keep up your activity levels after the loss of your pet. If you were walking a dog prior to the loss, try to keep walking or find an activity that you enjoy. Or start a walking routine by starting small, just to get out of the house. Exercising in a group—such as events that are offered through the Access Centre or the Friendship Centre in Morden —can also help to stay vital and connected with others.
Try to find new meaning and joy in life. Caring for a pet previously occupied your time and boosted your morale and optimism. One might consider filling the time by volunteering, picking up a long-neglected hobby, taking a class, helping friends, helping at the local shelter to cuddle or care for the animals, or even by getting another pet, when the time feels right.
Loss is loss and sharing the thoughts and feelings and companionship of others helps to adjust to the grief and move forward. If you, or someone you know, is feeling stuck in grief, talk to family or friends and find supporters who understand how you feel about your loss. Keep looking after you!
Last modified: October 7, 2023