How to help a friend in mourning? If you have a friend who has lost a pet, you know how terrible and painful that can be.
When my dear Argo passed away, the most meaningful gesture was from a passerby…
I was at the park, the same park I crossed with Argo every morning at 7 am. I was sitting on our usual bench, crying, I wanted to be alone far away from everyone..
Being at home reminded me of him…
Suddenly a woman who was jogging, seeing me cry, stopped and sat next to me asking me what was the matter.
I told her about Argo.. She hugged me immediately, telling me about her similar experience with her dog, she understood my feelings and what I was going through.
She left me her number encouraging me to write to her, going jogging with her in the morning, telling me that it was good for me.
It was such a beautiful and touching gesture.. Thanks to that we became friends.
She also helped me overcome Argo’s loss.
5 simple tips to help a friend in mourning
If you have a friend who has lost a pet, you know how terrible and painful that can be.
After that I want to give you 5 easy tips on how to help you support your friend in this difficult situation.
1- Validate their feelings
Make them understand their feelings are valid. Losing a pet is hurtful, it’s completely fine to be angry, sad and depressed.
So make your friend understand these feelings are completely normal.. they will help them overcome that loss in a healthy way.
2- Give them time
Give them the time to suffer and heal on their own time, don’t force out their feelings or to change their mood but give them the comfort they need.
At the same time spend time with them, then it will make it so much easier for your friend to not be alone during this hard situation.
Having a shoulder to cry on, having a present friend is fundamental and will help speed up the mourning of their furry friend.
Give them the time they need: your friend need to cry it out and overcome all phases of the loss ( if you want to know more about this, read this article)
3- Remind them to be gentle with themselves
It will happen that your friend is blaming themselves for what happened…
Don't let them blame themselves for whatever difficult choice they had to make for their pet.
Reassure them telling them they were brave, gentle and loving towards their pet and that they weren’t to blame for what had happened.
4- Do something special to honor their pet
They say that pain is simply love that doesn’t know where to go.
When you lose your pet it’s like having a part of your body missing: you feel an immense void.
There's one thing that helped me overcome this void: Tending to all the flowers sprouted from Argo’s grave. But at the same time I started painting, a hobby that later became my job.
Why not help your friend to find a new hobby? Maybe an activity that you both can do together.
It will be good not only for them but it also will create a deeper connection between you two, a better relationship with them.
What's friendship if not helping the person you love in a difficult situation?
5- Suggest to do physical exercise with you
Physical exercise will not help the emotional pain but it will help release endorphins to better the mood.
Even a stroll outside can be the perfect opportunity to talk with you.
So doing daily walks with you can help them have a routing after the loss of their pet.
Even more: spending time in nature can have curative effects: It can help both your physical and mental health and it makes you feel good.
How to process the loss of a pet: what can you do to help a friend?
Here’s more useful tips to help your friend during this time:
- Share stories about their pet
- Hug them, hold their hand, touch their shoulders.. Whatever it takes to cheer them up when they’re feeling down
- Listen to them and do not judge. If your friend prefer to stay silent support their request
- Be tolerant and patient with your friend. don't take any of their negative gestures seriously. Male them understand there is not a right way to deal with loss. Everyone is different and will behave differently
- Cry with them if you want to
- Send flowers and/or call “ I was thinking about you”. Ask how they are and help them in their daily tasks like groceries..
- Cook for them.. Whatever you want! Food is a natural source of comfort in difficult situations. Making a special recipe for someone you love is a perfect way to show them your appreciation. Even better, invite them and cook together!
The most important thing you can do is be there for your friend. It’s okay if you don’t know what to say or if you are worried about saying the wrong thing. Listen to them and make sure that your friend is okay.
You are already a loving and caring person if you’re reading this article.
Your friend is lucky to have you and they know that.
Do you want to do something more for them? Gift your friend a portrait by Flowerpup: The colors and flowers will give her positive emotions that will remind them of all those beautiful moments with their pet.
Click on the button you see down below and follow the steps
I’m here if you have any doubts