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How to Heal From the Loss of a Beloved Pet

how to heal from the loss of a pet

by Indrani Das, Certified Animal Reiki Teacher & Owner of Way of Artemis 

Saying that final goodbye to all the cats I have lost over the years has been heart-wrenching. The grief never entirely disappears. Sometimes, it comes creeping up at the most unexpected of moments. Each loss goes into weaving a new thread in this fabric of life. Even though we carry on the dance of life, we now do so with fond memories. We hold them in our hearts for all times to come. Our lives are much richer because amazing souls choose to share their journey with us.

And that is how the healing happens – not in fighting the grief but integrating the experience as we journey on.

Helen Keller once wrote, “What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes part of us.” 

“What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes part of us.” – Helen Keller

We cannot get the grief to disappear, but we can make it easy for us to find healing and solace. These are some things that can help. This list is not a checklist but rather a basket of offerings from which you can select whatever you feel will help.

May they help you find comfort at times of loss. It hurts to lose someone who always walked by your side in times of happiness and sorrow. Someone who showered you with unconditional love even on days when the world seemed a dreary unkind place. Know that even if you cannot see them, those furry paw prints always remain in our hearts. As a cat on the other side once said, “I am just a phone call away.”

Artemis

Create a Memorial
A physical space filled with photographs, candles, flowers, and toys is a beautiful way to honor memories. I have a little altar filled with pictures, crystals, sacred stones, and toys. And after all these years, sitting in front of this altar always fills me with joy. There is a sense of fond remembrance of the times we shared. Remember the good times and make this a happy space where you can connect with them.

Write Letters
When Amadeus transitioned, I started a notebook where I would write “Dear Amadeus” letters. Letters about how I felt and how I wondered how he felt. And I also created a column on 108 things I will never forget about Amadeus – little things like his fondness for catnip and warm sunshine. The key is to write about your feelings, and as you keep writing, you will feel the fog slowly. And in your heart, you always know that they get the messages.

Reiki
Reiki is the mystical sacred energy that helps heal physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. In a Reiki session, the practitioner shares the universal energy flow with the recipient. The beauty of Reiki is that it is soothing and non-invasive. Reiki helps clear energy blockages; harmonizes and replenishes the energy field allowing for healing at all levels. And even if you are a Reiki practitioner, there are times we all need a little help. Simply be open to receiving Reiki.

EFT Tapping
In the Chinese Medicinal system, a set of meridians runs through our body. These meridians are associated with physical organs and also our emotions. The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) involves tapping on specific meridian points, which implies tapping on points associated with different emotions, including grief. We free up the flow of energies by gentle tapping, which is a potent tool for emotional release. Find an EFT practitioner who can help you process grief.

Connect with your Beloved Companion
I got into this 12 years back when I lost Artemis, and I struggled with many unanswered questions. Now I know that a “Journey” to meet animals in the other realm can bring immense healing to those left behind. Their messages are so powerful and profound. No longer bound by a physical form, we can connect with their true spiritual essence and learn to see them as not just loving pets but sometimes as Teachers and Guides.

Hold a Goodbye Ceremony 
Sacred goodbye ceremonies hold immense healing powers. Gather together those who had a connection with your beloved. Let everyone recount their happy memories. It will be wonderful to do this in front of the memorial with a fire or a candle. You can say a prayer for your beloved’s onward journey as a group. You will feel that weight of grief lifting. And instead, it will fill you with gratitude for the times you shared. Thornton Wilder wrote, “The highest tribute to the dead is not grief but gratitude.”

Your Go-To Self-Care Ritual 
We have our go-to self-care favorites- things that help us when the going gets rough. Some like to go for a walk in nature. Some like to meditate, whereas some might like to go for a relaxing massage. I like to be in the mountains on my own and do a lot of Reiki. Do whatever helps you find your me-time. You have earned it, and your animal companion would want you to make time for yourself.

And finally, do be patient. Grieving is a process and needs time and space. Go with the flow and feel the grief instead of fighting it. The healing will happen. May you find gentleness in all you do.


About the Author

Indrani

Indrani Das is an Animal Reiki Teacher, Animal Communicator and Energy Worker using modalities including Scalar Wave and Shamanic practices. She is certified in Shamanic Animal Reiki as well as the Let Animals Lead method of Animal Reiki, a member of Shelter Animal Reiki Association and a volunteer at the DHN Network. She has dedicated her profession to be of service to animals.

Click here to book a session with Indrani.