Dogs Don’t Die, They Go To Sleep Within Your Heart
He never asked for anything in return. Only love that knows no selfishness, only a touch upon arriving home, a knowing look, a hole in the couch. Pets do not know the past or the future, but they understand and have internalized that universal language we sometimes forget: emotions.
Facing the death of an animal entails having to go through a very similar pain we go through when we lose someone. We know that many people might not agree and that there will be some who do not understand the importance animals may have in our lives. But those people are probably not reading this article.
The void caused by the loss of such a big part of our happiness is an abyss that was once filled with joy each day as they formed part of our routine and were our relief.
They were the most faithful recipients of our caresses, companions huddled at the foot of our bed. The first to wake up and the last to wish us goodnight. They were the garbage disposal of the house and could read the sadness in your eyes.
How could you not suffer from this loss? The void can never be filled. But this wound, although painful now, will slowly transform to loving memories of pleasant scenes; unique emotions that will make your life richer and fuller.
Let’s talk about this subject today and learn about some resources to help deal with the death of our pets.
1. Feel free to mourn and express yourself
Some people do not dare to say that their suffering is due to the loss of their pet.
But a pet is a living being that was part of our daily lives and our heart, so, do not be afraid to put heartfelt words to the pain you feel. It is true that not everyone will understand you, but there will be other people who will.Whether others understand it or not, it’s their problem. Your reality is yours and as such, you feel it, treat it, live it and manage it. We will live the same pain with any other kind of loss, hence, there will be the denial phase, then of anger, and sadness, until you finally reach acceptance.
Cry when you need to and always keep in mind the other members of your family. Help your children by allowing them to express their emotions, answering all their questions and channeling all the suffering that they probably have inside.
Put a name to each emotion, expressing in words what comes to your mind and above all, avoid one thing: feeling guilty. There are times when one of our pets dies and we ask if there was something else we could have done or if we did something wrong.
Avoid obsessing. You’ve done your best for them and be sure that your pet thanks you for all the love you showed them. Their life was full and it was thanks to you.
“Dogs never die, they sleep next to your heart. They do not know how to. They get tired, grow old, and their bones ache. Of course they don’t die. If they did, they wouldn’t want to go out all the time…”
2. Learn to live with routines
It is the hardest thing to face. Our dog, our cat was an indisputable part of our routine. They were our shadow, our accomplice, our spy and our little trickster who loved hugs, games and caresses.It must be very clear that it is going to be difficult for you to manage the pain of having to follow routines, but without him or her. So, in the first few days do not try to avoid these customs.
If when you got home you would sit on the couch with them, keep doing it. If you went to the park to walk at certain times, do it for a few days. It will be a way of saying good-bye, saying farewell while still guarding best memories you have of them. Think about how you were received at the door or how they used to walk beside you. Stay with these good moments to allow yourself to form new routines each day.
Smile when you think of him/her. Do not focus your thoughts on their suffering, the disease or their decline, but rather those feelings that were awoken in you by them. What made you be more human, more of a person was that he or she taught you what the most unconditional love is.
3. Know that your friend cannot be replaced
Don’t do it. When one of your pets dies do not proceed immediately to find another animal to adopt to relieve your pain. Animals, like people, cannot be replaced.
Your dog, your cat is unique, with its nuances, its character, with all that it has brought you: and it will leave a mark on your memory as such.
So, you can spend the time you need before adopting again, if you wish. Never try to replace or fill the void with another life. Each animal is unique and enriches us with its presence, its breath, its joy…Do not forget.
Do you think dogs go to heaven? I’m sure they’ll be there long before any of us.
-Robert Louis Stevenson-
Image: K. Lewis, Pascal Campion