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The death of a pet can be one of the most heartbreaking experiences. Whether they leave us suddenly, battle illness for a long time, or we need to help them transition due to loss of functioning, it’s never easy. If you’ve been through it, you know exactly what I mean.
Experts agree that the loss of a pet can be as hard as the death of a human.
Animals can be a source of unconditional love and losing this source of love can leave a big void. Our pets have been with us through important life stages and provided steadiness, comfort, fun, and companionship. Animals are also more tuned in to nature than humans so they offer us a bridge to the natural world. For all these reasons and more, we imprint part of ourselves onto our pets and they become like an extension of us.
I’ve grieved the loss of 5 dogs in my life, each experience completely different. Each time there was an indescribable emptiness that required time, support, and ritual to work through
By the time Luna was ready to transition I had created a ritual that helped me cope with witnessing her leave her body.
This ritual can be used if you’re present when your animal dies, or after they’ve already transitioned. I’ve shared it with multiple friends who’ve found it soothing and hopeful.
I wish I’d had it years ago but the next best thing is sharing it with you now. Please share this with any friends you have who might need it.
Actively grieving the loss of your pet is important and everyone will do this in their own way. The ritual below offers a way to help you and your family let go and see the bigger purpose behind the heartbreak. If your animal has already crossed over, you can still do whatever parts of the ritual feel right for you. Here’s what I did when the vet came to our home to release Luna from her pain:
- Smudge the space (do it with respect for the cultures that originated the practice).
- My friends and I took turns sharing memories about Luna and told her all the things we appreciated about her.
- We chanted the word light together for about a minute, imagining her body surrounded by an egg-shaped ball of white light. This part helps bring the body to a lighter state for the transition.
- When the *vet arrived, we repeated the incantation below as she crossed over. It’s meant to help her, but it helped me immensely as she took her last breath. It focuses on the adventure ahead, which helps ease the pain of the ending at hand.
- In Luna’s case the vet took her body. I placed a flower on her but you can put anything memorable or significant to you (favourite toy, special blanket).
- I celebrate this transformation
- I am ready for growth
- I bask in the abundant blessings of this lifetime
- New adventures await me
- I am safe and loved—now and always
- I know what I need
- I am ready
If you’re in this situation now and found your way here, know I’m holding you close. The love you share with your sweet animal is forever.
*Make sure you ask the vet questions about the timing of everything because I was surprised at how quickly it all happened.