When grieving the loss of a loved one, leaning on your furry friends can be very healing for your heart.
If you are facing the depths of grief and you don’t quite know where to begin on your healing journey, you can turn to your pet to provide you with unconditional love. There are many ways to lean on your pets, and they make great companions when you are grieving and don’t quite feel like being around or talking to other people at that time.
It may seem like extra responsibility to care for an animal when you’re grieving, and while that may be the case for some people, others find comfort in the task of caring for their pet and having this as a reason to get out of bed and continue with your day through the grief.
While this may not be the ideal time to adopt a new animal, you can rely on a pet that you already have or perhaps watch a friend’s pet for a few days or weeks.
Here are 4 ways that you can lean on a pet while you’re grieving:
- Going on walks
Dog owners know that your furry friend thrives when it gets to go for walks typically around 3-4 times a day. If you feel up to it, you can take this opportunity to go for a longer stroll around your neighborhood or a local green space like a park or walkway.
Getting out of your house may help your mind during this time and give you something to focus on– an important task that you plan to do each day.
- Having someone to cry to
Maybe you don’t want to cry alone or to another person at this moment in time, and that’s totally okay. You can rely on your furry friend as a soul to cry to. They somehow know exactly how to show up in a comforting way. Your cat may cuddle up to you in bed, your dog may sit next to you so that you know you’re not alone. Just knowing that your loving companion is nearby may bring you some peace and comfort.
- Surrounding yourself with animals
If you don’t have a pet of your own, or even if you do, there are ways to surround yourself with many animals at once. It’s rare to find joy like this– seeing cats and dogs surrounding you and being given the chance to play with them! This could present an opportunity to find a moment of happiness in the midst of your grief, like an emotional support animal experience.
Check out a local cat cafe, dog park or dog bar to meet a few furry friends in one place.
- Connect with other humans with animals
You may be having a difficult time leaving the house and finding human connection, which you might need at this time during your grief process. You can connect with others by taking your pet out for a walk or meeting up to let your animals socialize. This is a good way to experience connection with others on a small level.