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Bringing Joy Back into Your Life After the Loss of a Pet

By Wendy Van de Poll October 03, 2022 Family

Are you experiencing emotions of sadness and grief while coping with the loss of a pet? Are you unable to even imagine moving forward into your life again without them? Would you like to tell your buddy once again that you love them?

I understand. It can be really difficult to accept the passing of your animal friend from the physical form to the spirit form. This physical separation can create a huge gap of unexplained emotions.

Coping with the loss of a pet can be overwhelming and at times emotionally paralyzing. You probably already know that grieving for your pet is painful and can leave you feeling miserable.

There is no perfect way to grieve. You received a lot from your animal and will always have in your heart the love he or she gave to you.

Also know that grieving is normal and very unique to you. No two people grieve the same, and it all depends on your experiences with previous loss, cause of death, support system and your beliefs around death.

Give yourself all the time that you need to go through the grieving process, as there are no shortcuts. Experiencing the pain of your loss is an essential part of working through and integrating your grief.

Heartache is numbing, and at moments of grief it is important to take care of yourself. There are many ways that this can be done. Here are some of the ways in which I offer pet grief support and help my clients take charge to transform their grief to joy after their animal dies.

Grieving the Loss of a Pet Is Normal

Grief equals mixed feelings of despair, anger, guilt, shock, denial, pain, bargaining, reflection, loneliness and more! Writing, talking about and expressing how you feel in a supportive atmosphere can help you transform your feelings.

Your Endearing Bond

The bond that you shared with your animal was filled with love, caring, endearment, tenderness, fondness and enthusiasm.

So, focusing on how your lives and routines evolved over the years, will strengthen the continued relationship that you can have with them in the after life!

Cherishing the End-of-Life Experience

Feelings of fear, panic, failure or catastrophe are very common during the end-of-life process. The time when your companion is at the end-of-life stages can bring up a lot of feelings.

It’s helpful to remember that death means that your friend’s life has simply come to an end as all life eventually does. Being compassionate to yourself and thanking your animal for all that was shared can help you be better prepared as you make some important decisions.

Welcoming Joy Back into Your Life

Feeling moments of joy after your animal dies is not a cause for you to feel guilty. Fortifying yourself with positive thoughts about your life with your animal never betrays your companion. Instead, this is what your animal really wants from you – to honor the joyful relationship that you shared!

So remember, even though your pet has died, they are always accessible to you. With your heart and soul, you are able to be in contact with them and hear what they have to say, which has helped many of my clients transform their grief to joy.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Can you share with us ways in which you cherished your pet and welcomed joy back into your life? What are special things in particular that bring you happiness when you remember your pet? Please join the conversation below!

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I came across this helpful article after recently losing a Newfie, which is like losing a family member and a child we never had… Barnaby went to doggo heaven 6 days ago on Thanksgiving weekend..I feel absolutely terrible as I was in a shock and unable to really process what happened at ER overnight but compassionate-less vet made assumption and without any diagnose (there was no equipment to use on large breed) determined my 5 y old boy’s spine is broken/ injured enough he will never recover hence she put absolute pressure on euthanasia we absolutely were not ready for… So… We are painfully heartbroken. Even thou we might have had arrived at similar decision after a day or two of coping with trauma, I feel his life was so short and more could have been done for him!!!

Barnaby would brighten up each and every 4.30 am, everyday…. He would love everyone so intensely, so deeply, it seems incomprehensible that he was able to connect with so many!!!!
Some pups we had in the past, and pups of our friends, would be loyal to their owner and sort of respond to our presence. Barnaby absolutely was selfless and the more someone would give him attention and love, the more he would give u in return…. He was the most amazing pup we had and known and his friendship opened up our hearts to live deeper and more beautiful days….

What I wasn’t really aware of is that … My days, really, in many ways would revolve around Barnaby and his older brother Phaedrus….. Even thou initial shock and headaches from crying are subsiding slowly, iam in deep pain emotionally; it is like his heart rooted with my heart so much; now him not being present anymore, I feel like my heart is totally ripped apart with him slowly being gone and de–rooting….. I (we) – my husband and I, loved him so very much, I can’t really imagine how will I experience joy again! Truly. He gave me all the reasons to be silly at our small house; snuggle up on a floor with him every night, take care of him like he was my child!! He made.my life full and bright and complete? I could have worst day and he would come, plop his big head on my lap and all would be good….i lost 3 Fam members in 1 year and he helped me tremendously heal from loss…. He truly bonded with our entire neighborhood both in AZ n MI where we lived over 5 y and he truly brightened up everyone’s lives…. I miss him so much….I wish I could have done more for him before the final decision was reached… I hope he is happy in Heaven and truly hope I see his face again! I never loved anyone like that…. And not sure my heart will ever feel good things again… Even if I was to raise another Newfie pup😞

Jade-Lee Bentel

Reading this has helped me so much. I just lost my sweet boy Ricky Bobby and he too rooted deep in my heart. I am wandering around in my apartment without anything to do, no joy at his funny feed time tricks… no jumps onto my bed. I have a lot more to write but for now the tears just keep streaming down my face.


omg, I feel your pain. I lost my sweetheart girl last Tuesday and I don’t know how I’m going to get over her. She was the sweetest soul. I rescued her 5 years ago and it turned out she rescued me…she put joy back into my life, a reason to get up and carry on with life. Now I wonder what it’s all about. The pain has made me feel numb. My tears won’t stop. I pray that she knew I was with her at the end, I spoke to her and held her paw. My heart will never be same

The Author

Wendy Van de Poll is a leader in the fields of pet loss grief support and self-publishing. As a thirteen-time bestselling author, speaker and coach she works with people all over the world with their animals and writing their books! Please visit her website for pet loss https://centerforpetlossgrief.com or website for self-publishing https://selfpublishingbookcoach.com

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