Brigitte E. Lifschitz, LCSW
For many people, especially those living alone and far from family members, a pet provides incredible love, comfort and companionship in their lives. So often, losing a pet can be a devastating experience. There are those who can never bring another pet into their lives because the loss is so great, they feel they could not go through another experience of that kind. For others, it can take years to recover before they will consider bringing another cat, dog, bird or other animal back into their home. Then there are some people who will adopt older rescued dogs or cats so that these animals can have a loving home in which to spend the last few years of their life.
Grief is experienced and processed differently by people. There is no right or wrong way to handle the loss of a beloved pet. However, if the grief does not subside over time, this may signal that there are some underlying problems that have not been resolved. At that point, it is important to understand and resolve the issues which prevent the person from moving on with his or her life. It can be healing to talk to a therapist who can help to work through the grief and loss that may be difficult to overcome. Hypnosis can also help someone resolve their grief even more quickly.