Dealing with the loss of a pet

At the time of writing this article I am perfectly placed to give you advice because I have recently lost Sprout, a guinea pig who was very special to me, and I am still grieving. I cry a lot and spend a lot of time looking at photographs and talking about him. It’s difficult to write about him because I still miss him terribly, but when I feel able to I will put a framed photograph of him up in the house. Sometimes it helps to go outside and talk to his burial pot.

When I lose a guinea pig I prefer to bury them as soon as possible. We buy a pretty ceramic plant pot from the garden centre and a little evergreen plant to put on the top. Evergreen plants work well for this because they are good all-year plants and hopefully shouldn’t need replanting soon after the burial of your pet. I make sure the ceramic plant pot is large enough to lay my guinea pig inside comfortably and the pot is placed in a sheltered area of the garden.

If you have many pets, turning a corner of the garden into a beautiful area with flowers and somewhere to sit is a nice way to remember them. I have a decked area behind the guinea pig shed where I can sit and relax. This could be a long term project, something you add to whenever you lose a dear pet, and somewhere you can bury them or scatter their ashes.

  • Bury or cremate your pet
  • How you send your pet on their way is a very personal thing, and you should always do what feels right for you. You must be comfortable with the way your pet is laid to rest so you can grieve properly.
  • Talk about your pet
  • Try talking about your pet to a friend or family member and remember the happy times you had. Talking can help you work through your grief and help you to reconcile the loss.
  • Keep photographs
  • It may be very painful right after the loss of your pet to look at photographs, but as time passes you will want to remember them and you’ll be glad of the photographs you kept.
  • Don’t blame yourself
  • Sometimes you want to blame yourself in some way for the death of your guinea pig. This isn’t constructive and will only make you even more upset.

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