Common Reactions to Loss

IMG00512[1]Right now, the pain of losing your dog may seem unbearable. When faced with such a great loss, it’s not unusual to find yourself crying uncontrollably, losing sleep, isolating yourself from others, feeling alone, and perhaps losing or gaining weight.

You may experience anxiety, stress, guilt, and a loss of interest in life. People report panic attacks, suicidal thoughts, illness, missing work or school, and PTSD. People have lost their jobs, failed in school, been hospitalized, put on medication for depression and/or anxiety and felt the need to move, all because of the loss of their dog.

It is common to feel something is wrong for feeling so out of balance and so distraught. While attitudes are changing, many still hold a belief that “it was only a dog”, and so those who have lost a dog and know better can feel little support and understanding for their loss, which only adds to their heartache.

While not everyone experiences symptoms of such severity, they are not unnatural or unusual. Whatever degree your grief takes, remember to honor it. There is no right or wrong; grief is a process individual to each of us.

Please feel free to share your experience in the comments below.