When you decide to bring a pet into your life, you’re almost inevitably also signing up for the hard time when you will have to say goodbye and live on without your friend. Most of our companion animals have far shorter life spans than us. When death comes to them, we experience very real grief and we can have a seriously hard time adjusting to life without them.
Here are some library resources I think are helpful in dealing with pet loss, as well as a Web resource:
For adults and teens:
When Your Pet Dies: A Guide to Mourning, Remembering & Healing
by Alan D. Wolfelt
You can also borrow the e-book version of this book from the library via Enki.
For kids (about grades 2 -5):
The Smart Kid’s Guide to Losing a Pet by Christine Petersen ; illustrated by Ronnie Rooney
For younger kids:
I Miss My Pet: A First Look at the Death of a Pet by Pat Thomas ; illustrated by Lesley Harker
(This book also has some very good tips for parents of grieving kids.)
Online, there is a great Web site called petloss.com. This Web site not only lists a wealth of difference resources (books, support group listings, grief hotlines, etc.) but provides a safe message board and chat room. These online communities are actively moderated so that they are safe places to post about loss and grief and get support. Every Monday at 7 PM PST, a candle ceremony is held in the chat room, and people from around the world remember their pets together. This weekly online candle ceremony has been held since 1993! There are a lot of people who understand the difficulty of pet loss and help is available all around.