Pet Therapy for Grief

Posted on October 28, 2019 by Lifesong Funerals under cremation
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Grief resources are among the cremation services offered in Tallahassee, FL. After the death and cremation of a loved one, the grieving process begins in earnest. Friends and family go back to their homes and to their normal lives, leaving us alone with our grief and, sometimes, the feeling of emptiness, especially in the case of spouses. Grief can be amplified by the sense of being out of sync with the rest of the world.

For many people, one of the hardest parts of post-death grief is the conjunction of the grieving person, whose entire life and world has completely and permanently changed, with everything and everyone else just going on the same as always. Grieving people can feel very isolated.

cremation services offered in Tallahassee, FL

This is when pets can be a tremendous help in the grieving process in many ways.

A very practical way that pets can help with the grieving process is they provide the foundation for returning to a normal routine. They need to be fed, watered, and walked on a regular schedule, so those needs inject a sense of normalcy into a time where nothing else is normal.

Physical activity helps produce endorphins, which make us feel better, so walking pets is a key way that we can have a better general sense of well-being even while we’re in the middle of the grieving process.

Pets provide companionship, so it can be very comforting to have them around when someone is grieving. Loneliness and isolation can still feel very real at times, but having pets can help reduce these feelings on a personal level.

Research shows that pets reduce the production of cortisol, the stress hormone. Stress, and a lot of it, is very much a part of the grieving process. Stress can be exacerbated as the grieving person has to handle all the legal, financial, and other details associated with the loss of a loved one. Making the adjustment to a new life without the person who has died is also very stressful. But having pets can help ease the stress and make the adjustment period easier.

The first year after a loved one dies can be extremely difficult emotionally and mentally. Being around other people might be hard at times because they may say something unintentionally that is insensitive or even hurts. Most people, we hope, aren’t intentionally judgmental or critical, but when they are it can feel like being attacked all the time. And strong emotions are part and parcel of the grieving process, so crying and sorrow can appear any time, and when they do, people may feel embarrassed or ashamed.

Pets, however, love unconditionally, so they don’t care if you cry, sob, or talk to yourself. They are simply there for you and their worlds revolve around you. Pets can be a safe haven while you’re grieving because, unlike people, they don’t have any expectations of you except to love and be loved. Pets are never insensitive, judgmental, or critical about anything you do or say.

Pets can be very comforting a grieving, because they can help lessen the feelings of emptiness and being lost without a loved one. Pets offer a sense of reassurance and comfort that can make the empty spaces and the uncertainties of death easier to face and to deal with. Dogs, in particular, are attuned to feelings and can always sense when their owners are sad or feeling down. They will always respond to that with even more affection and care.

For more information about cremation services offered in Tallahassee, FL, including grief resources, our caring and knowledgeable staff at Lifesong Funerals & Cremations is here to assist you. You can visit our funeral home at 20 S. Duval St., Quincy, FL 32351, or you can call us today at (850) 627-1111.

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