Losing a dog is so hard, but losing Emma has really been tough on Mom. We often get asked how it is going, so I thought I would tell you all a bit about how we are dealing with our new family unit. Emma’s memory box is finally here, which makes it an ideal time to combine things into one post.
Why is losing a dog so hard?
My mom has lost a lot of pets, but for her, losing dogs is the hardest of all. I think it’s because we are so much more involved in a humans life, we go places, and are so dependent on our humans, it is different from the relationship Mom has with the kitties. The more involved a person is with their dog, the tighter the bond, and the harder the loss. Humans all seem to think the heartbreak is well worth all the love the time spent together, but it is very painful.
Emma was so intertwined in Mom’s life. She was her dog, teammate, business partner, and huge inspiration. They went through a lot together including moving from Germany to the US. The suddenness of her death has also made it much more difficult. No one knew Emma would not make it until about an hour before she passed away. There was no time to do any last minute things together, or to process what might be coming. Mom feels a lot of guilt, even though she shouldn’t. At least she was with her at the end.
Losing a dog is also very hard because the world keeps moving forward, and everyone forgets about the dog and the person who lost their dog. Most people don’t seem to understand how someone can still cry daily, months after a dog has passed away, but it happens all the time and it is normal. Mom tries to surround herself with pet people who understand how hard it is to lose any pet.
What can you do to feel better?
What can a person do to try to feel better? Time is the only real way a person will start to process a loss. Mom says nothing really takes away the pain, but some things make her feel a bit better. I think Mom could blog about losing a dog every day, but we are trying to make this one blog post, not a novel.
- If you have other dogs, spend time with them. Talk to them about the pet who has passed away. Feel free to cry on your dogs, we love to provide comfort. Keep photos and other memories around. They might make you cry, but they are also comforting. My mom loves to pet things that were Emma’s. She also pets, and talks to photos of Emma.
- Stay alive. Don’t hide from your life. As painful as it is to do things that remind you of your lost friend, you need to keep doing them. Hiding and feeling sad is not good for you, and it won’t help the pain go away.
- Talk to others you know who have also suffered the loss of a dog, they understand. There are even pet loss support groups if you are interested in that.
- Look for signs from your dog. Mom was suspicious of this idea, but after Katie passed away, there were so many signs, she has to believe there are signs if you look. Emma has sent us a lot of signs to tell us she is here in spirit.
- Create or purchase items as a memorial to your dog. Mom has Emma’s ashes, the beautiful, handmade, Bellabead necklace made with Emma’s ashes and fur, and now her memory box.
- Know that there is not proper way to grieve the loss of a dog. Every dog is different, and every human is too. Give yourself the time you need, and don’t worry about what others think.
- Most of all, love us as much as you can while we are here with you because there is no guarantee on how long our time together will be. A bad day with your dog is better than any day without your dog, and never go to bed angry with your pup.
Emma’s Memory Box
You may remember Emma ordered Katie’s Memory Box before she passed away. Bailie posted about it since she was fairly close to Katie. We love it so much, we wanted one for Emma too. It’s kind of odd that Emma had actually found items prior to her passing that were just what Mom needed after Emma was gone.
Emma’s box took a long time to order because Mom couldn’t decide about the writing, color, or photo. Finally we got it ordered and it arrived last week. We are happy with the way it looks. Of course, Emma has a lot of personal items, so the box is filled to the brim, but it all fits.
Mom, Bailie, and I are all still so grateful for all the love you have shown us since Emma’s passing. It has been overwhelming, and also comforting. Emma wanted to be the queen, and she truly was. She was loved by so many, and this blog was all her inspiration. My GBGV Life will always be Emma’s blog at the heart.