Myth busting the grieving process

by | Interesting |

Our relationships with pets are unique — a heart-warming devotion that goes both ways, between pet and human. This absolute and unconditional love, flowing between us and our cherished pet, is something we rarely receive from our human counterparts, and its absence remains with us long after they have departed.

Losing this special bond can cause our lives to come to a standstill, at least for a while. Many well-meaning friends and family members will offer kind words and personal anecdotes – some that help and some that may prolong one’s ability to properly grieve. This is why I’m sharing six common myths about grieving:

Common myths about grieving
  1. Time heals. This is perhaps one of the most common of the 6 myths. Time heals nothing at all. The only thing that will set you on the path of true recovery is taking the right action steps to recover. If you have a flat tire and just look at it, time will not re-inflate the tire. You have to take the right actions steps (i.e. get the jack out of the car, hoist the car, get the spare tire out within time, to fix the tire). The same is true for recovering from personal loss.
  2. Don’t Be Sad. This is a statement that can actually cause a lot more pain for the grieving person because they are being told to basically not feel. Sadness is part of loss and needs to be felt.
  3. Grieve alone. Although you may need a bit of time away from others when you are grieving, most of us who are in a grief state want to be comforted by others, instead of being left alone.
  4. Be Strong. When in grief, the last thing we feel is strong.
  5. Keep Busy. Being busy and over working is almost socially acceptable and is not healthy. The grief needs to be processed, not postponed.
  6. Replace the Loss. Nothing can replace the loss – not another pet, nor another relationship.  You need to do your healing work before getting another companion, because, if we don’t, the unhealed pain will eventually surface and will prevent you from fully feeling love again.

At the end day, you need to allow yourself the time and space to grieve properly. Spend time remembering your pet, honor them in whatever way feels right to you. Take good care of yourself – your body and mind need extra good care when under the heavy emotions of grief.

If you feel stuck, seek out the right sort of guidance that will assist you in completing the emotional unfinished business of having lost your beloved pet. By doing this, you will start the journey towards healing and feeling better.

Get in touch with the author

Cricket-Olivia Forfar is a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist with the Grief Institute. Part of her private practice is devoted to assisting grieving pet owners heal from their loss. She can be reached at:  or email:


Speaking for the ones who can’t speak for themselves

Keep up the good work speaking for the ones who can’t speak for themselves. A society who cares for their animals is a better society.  Thanks for your good work!