Ways to Find Comfort After Losing a Pet

Lucky Dee

It’s the little things that get me. Like folding laundry fresh from the dryer — Lucky Dee would jump straight into the basket of warm clothes. Or the way he’d survey the entire kitchen floor when I was cooking dinner, waiting for a morsel to fall. No doubt, Lucky Dee (aka Lucky Dizzle or the Dee) was our pet, but more than that, he was a part of our family. At nearly 19 years old,  his personality drew me in the moment we met.

Lucky Dee was our Chihuahua. No teacup, he was 11.8 pounds of fiery intent. With the heart, psyche, and stature of a small German Shepherd, Lucky Dee may have had some “socialization” issues but he hosted a whole lot of character. Loyal to the end, he loved his immediate family and tolerated everyone else. That was the Dee.  

But who am I kidding? It’s really not just the little things that get me. It’s the big hole I have in my heart since he died. Saying goodbye to our furry friends can be brutal. But here are some ways I found comfort:

Welcome the emotions

I had to open myself up to fully feel this loss. The first morning I woke up without Lucky Dee, the tears flowed. When I called his name out of habit, I let the emotions rage. I poured through photos and made a custom photo book, and I wrote about some fun vacation memories. I really gave myself permission to experience the grief by reliving some of our most special times together.

Pray and reflect on scripture

After the initial goodbye, I literally put my hand on my heart because the pain felt unbearable. At that moment, I got down on my knees and prayed to God for support. Remembering that He holds me in the palm of His hand brought me instant relief. I also turned to God in scripture and meditated on these two particular verses: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18) and “He will wipe every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 21:4). These words were whispers of mercy.

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Ask your friends for support

After a week or so, I asked friends and family to share photos of their dogs on my Facebook page. I was surprised at how many did. I was also astonished at how good this made me feel! It was wonderful to see and feel the love that people share with their own pets. In some way, this helped make sense of my own pain. The touching moments brought such comfort to me and made me realize that my love for Lucky Dee will never die.

Take time to heal

In a moment of pain, I made my husband promise no more animals. Am I going to stick with this? No way. That said, I am in a season of mourning. This is how I will honor Lucky Dizzle while giving myself time to heal. You may feel differently about getting another animal right away. There is no right or wrong way, but pay attention to how you feel and take time to mourn your loss.