The heartbreak and unbearable pain that comes with saying goodbye to a beloved pet is something all grieving pet parents understand. If only you could talk to your deceased pets one more time, there are things they would want you to know.
As someone who has lived through the deaths of several Cocker Spaniels, I empathize and sympathize with your pain. I’ve often wondered if my dogs are somewhere over the rainbow bridge and if they miss me. Both left behind a crater-sized hole in my heart when they passed.
Perhaps you found this article because your pet recently passed away. Maybe it’s been years since you heard your cat’s purring or felt your dog’s cold nose pressed against your leg.\\\\
In my deepest moments of sorrow, I imagine what my deceased pets would want me to know. If they were sitting right next to me, staring me in the eyes as they once did, what would they say?
To try and comfort my broken dog mama’s heart, I offer these 20 things your late pet would want you to know, feel, and find peace in.
1. You could not have controlled what happened to me.
You did your best and you gave me everything you could with the time I had on earth. It’s okay to miss me and to grieve, but I want you to live a life inspired by me until we meet again.
2. Don’t close your heart to another pet in need.
Your heart is so big and loving, so give it to another pet. No one can ever replace me, but someone deserves all you have to give. In that way, I live through your words, deeds, and actions.
3. I lived each moment on earth to the best of my ability.
I never thought about what happened 10 minutes ago or what might happen 5 minutes in the future. I lived in the present and now I exist in eternity. Take a lesson from my life and live in the now.
4. Don’t feel guilty about anything.
You did what you could, armed with the knowledge you had at the time. You made our moments together rich and fulfilling, and I carry them with me always.
5. Every time you start thinking of how I died, stop.
Try to replace that thought with one about how I lived. Remember a joyful time we shared together. Did we take a fun trip? Did I make you laugh with one of my antics? Remember those times always.
6. It’s okay to talk to other pet moms and dads about how you feel.
There’s a lot of love and a lot of broken hearts in the human world. Just because I died doesn’t mean your pain goes away. Talk to people who can help you.
7. Do something on earth in memory of me.
Plant a tree in my name. Paint something that reminds you of me. Write down stories in a journal about our time together. Put some of our photos in a real photo album. You help keep the love alive that way.
8. Don’t forget to take care of yourself.
Go on a trip. Visit the spa. Get your nails done. Go for a hike. Binge-watch your favorite television shows. I want you to smile again for me.
9. Take a grief break, mom and dad.
You can’t grieve me 24 hours a day. It’s much too hard and unfair to you. You aren’t betraying me by allowing yourself time to think about something other than me. I promise I am okay.
10. If my passing was an accident, act.
Educate other pet parents about how this accident could be avoided. You honor me and save lives by doing this, and I love you for it.
11. I will always be by your side.
Do you still have my old I.D. tags? The ones that hung off my collar? Slip them on your favorite key ring or carry one with you in your wallet. I will always be by your side even if you can’t see me.
12. I worry about you the way you always worried about me.
You wanted to be sure I had plenty of food and water. I worry about you, too. I want you to nourish your body the way you nourished mine. My time on earth is done, but you have a long life ahead.
13. Despite how big the world is, we found each other.
What are the chances of that? I am grateful you are my parent, and that bond can’t be broken. Love never ends.
14. You might notice signs that I am around.
If you smell something that reminds you of me, I am near. A red cardinal coming to visit could be me. A butterfly landing nearby is a quick hello from the other side.
15. Everyone here knows all about you.
You can’t stop thinking about me, but I let all my pals know about you. Sometimes we peek in on you, smile, wag, or purr.
16. If you want to visit me in your thoughts, make time for it.
…But don’t let grief rob you of life. Plan to spend some time thinking of me and talking to me when it feels right. I feel you and your life.
17. Find hope knowing the end is my beginning.
I thrive in my new space and I know we will be together again. Until then, I will watch over you.
18. I might visit you in your dreams.
Some of my pals make appearances when their moms and dads go to sleep. Other pals are too shy to enter the dream world.
19. Celebrate my birthday or gotcha day.
I’d love it if you celebrated my birthday by doing something in my memory. In this way, I live forever.
20. Understand that you didn’t lose me.
I am just taking residence somewhere else. I get to watch over you and be free of any worries or pain. Take comfort in that.
Remember me, let our love carry you through life, and keep my legacy alive by honoring me with a life well-lived.