Pets with Diabetes   Sharing Your Pet Loss Experience


Overcoming grief is a process that everyone handles differently.  For some people it takes a few weeks, while for others it takes months to get past the deep sense of loss that comes with their pet's death. I thought it might be nice to have a section where people could share the experience they went through in the weeks or months after losing their pet.  Your experience might help others see that their sadness is not unusual or it may give someone some ideas for helping them through the grieving process.  If you are interested in sharing your story, I think it would be of the most value to others to share your story after a few weeks or months after your pet's death - after you have had some time to progress through the grieving process. 

You might want to begin your story with a little background about your pet's situation. 

  • What type of pet did you have - cat, dog, hamster, ferret, bird, etc. 
  • What breed and was it a male or female
  • How old was your pet
  • How long had it been diabetic or how long had it been ill with other problems
  • Did your pet require a lot of at-home care during the final weeks or months
  • Were you aware that your pet was nearing the end of it's life or was the illness or death sudden. 

Next, describe your grieving process. These are just some ideas that you might wish to mention:

  • How often did you find yourself becoming sad? 
  • How strong or intense was your sadness?
  • Were there certain things that made you sad? For example, seeing your pet's bed, not having your pet sleep with you? 
  • What did you do to help you cope with your grief? Please mention anything you did that helped you. 
    • Visit web sites or participate in mailing lists that offered support
    • Rely on friends or family
    • Read books or  listen to music
    • Look at photos or make a memory album
    • Put away your pet's supplies or go on a cleaning spree.
    • Make a donation to charity in your pet's name
    • Pay extra attention to your other pets
    • Bring a new pet into your home (just before or after your pet's death)
    • Was your sense of loss overwhelming and you sought some type of counseling
    • Did you do something special with your pet's remains - keep your pet's ashes, bury your pet's body or its ashes in a special location, use a pet cemetery?

It's also ok to say that you had some sense of relief after your pet passed away.  Caring for a diabetic pet can be a lot of work, and at the end of your pet's life you may have been spending a lot of time caring for him or cleaning up after potty accidents.  It's ok to feel a sense of relief about not having to spend every night cleaning your carpets!  Or, maybe your pet's quality of life  declined and in a way you were relieved that he or she was no longer in pain or unhappy.  There may be some guilt associated with these feelings, like feeling guilty that you were glad you could easily go away for a long weekend without having to plan for a special sitter or boarding care for your pet.

If you would like to include a time-frame of your experience, that might be helpful.  Maybe how you felt on a weekly or monthly basis, or whatever you find appropriate to your situation.   

Remember, these stories will be posted in our Loss and Grief section so please share only what you are comfortable letting others read.  You don't have to identify yourself or put your e-mail address in your story, but our stories usually include the pet's name and the owner's first name or initials so we can identify each person's story on the site. 

You can e-mail us your story, or use this web form to submit your story.  If you use the form, we suggest you type your story using Notepad or a word processing program so you can save a copy. Then copy and paste your story in to the Story box on the form. If there is a problem with your submission, the information on the form will not be saved but you will have the original story in your notepad or word processing document. 

Read some stories


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Updated September 2003
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