There is an emotional part of pet care giving called anticipatory grief that is often overlooked. It begins when you realize, with absolutely no question, that your pet is going to die soon. It may not be for weeks or months, but you feel the reality of death.
During anticipatory grief people experience the actual emotions of grief which include sadness, depression, anger, bargaining and eventual acceptance, even before their pet passes away.
Many pet care givers have asked us, “How do I get through this stage? It’s so painful to grieve even before our loss?”
It’s helpful to simply know what is happening and that the emotions of grief prior to loss are completely normal for one to experience.
Also, many have shared that their friends and family often have difficulty understanding what they are going through since their pet is still alive. It’s understandable that those around you might not understand if they haven’t experienced this stage of grief themselves, or even the deep love of a pet animal friend.
Finally, love on your friend as much as you can, care for them fully so when the day arrives and they are not with you, you can say you did everything and then each day the smile replace the tears, and you smile when you look back at their life with joy and feel really lucky you were a part of it – and you both were so fortunate to have each other!