As some of you know who follow along on the Crazy Cat Lady Facebook Page, you know we lost our cats. I really haven’t talked about it much because if you have lost a pet before you know the pain. Mourning the loss of a pet is hard, it takes time, and you have to work towards healing that piece of your heart. While I don’t feel like going into detail about it, I will share how I have personally grown and began to work through the mourning process.
Mourning the Loss of a Pet is Difficult
I think for most shock and sadness hit first, then I got angry-sad. I didn’t want our sweet cats to be gone, and I was just angry. Every time we would step outside I didn’t have to look around to not trip on them like I normally would as they would come running to run on our feet.
The half-empty box of cat treats was a bold reminder they were gone. The tiny morsels of cat food had fallen and got pushed back into a corner of our hall, where I was sweeping and found it. Just those little reminders hurt deeply and lasted quite a long time. I don’t think I am even fully healed today. Cats truly leave a print on your heart that lasts a lifetime.
Sure any cat might get a little feisty but they also are loving and endearing and cute as a button. Whether it’s love at first sight or it takes time to warm up, they are sure to win pretty much anyone over. But how do you handle things when they are gone?
How We Mourned The Loss Of Our Cats
First, there were lots of tears, quiet moments, and sadness. It was hard because we all process things differently. One moment I could have been crying my eyes out while I watched my husband carry on with his day, and vice versa. I didn’t know if I should bring up my feelings or not. He was doing ok or seemed to be and I was a mess.
I quickly learned when I told him how I felt, he fully felt the same way. We began talking about memories, our favorite moments that stand out, and I finally began to feel healing happen. I know that talking about our cats and how we felt is what my heart needed to begin to heal. If I felt like crying I did, I quit holding it in, if I had days where I was angry, I allowed it. I let my emotions drain out of me, and the release I felt helped the healing process begin.
Am I fully healed? Absolutely not. Will I ever fully be healed? I truly can’t answer that, because I don’t know what the future holds. I do know the thought of getting another cat triggers so many emotions. We want cats but then we aren’t sure we are fully prepared. I think you can understand that when you lose such a big part of your heart there is no set timeline. You listen to your heart and trust.
I do feel someday we will get a new cat or two, but when I do not know. That’s ok, and I have learned I don’t have to rush out and adopt a cat. Day by day, minute by minute.
Ways I Found To Help With The Grieving Process
- Allow yourself to feel the emotions that are stirring inside.
- Find time to be alone so if you want to cry you can, and don’t feel you have to hold back.
- Talk about memories, share funny stories, and remember your cat and all the beauty.
- Get up, get dressed, and push on and live your life.
- Find support from a spouse, loved one, or even a professional.
- Create a memorial for your cat.
- Read a book or two about the grieving of a lost pet.
I hope this helps someone on their journey. Writing this brought up a ton of emotions, and I want you to know if you lost a pet no matter what it is, cat, dog, lizard, you are not alone. We are all in this together and can help each other heal a bit.
How have you found healing from losing a pet?