When a friend or loved one’s beloved pet passes away, it may be hard to know the best way to offer support. Do you simply express your sincere condolences, or give them a sympathy card and flowers? Should you refer to the deceased pet by name, or avoid talking about him or her completely?
Although everyone copes with grief differently, here are just a few ways to comfort a pet owner through the difficult time:
- Send a note or card expressing your condolences.
- Send flowers.
- Make a donation to an animal shelter or a cause in honor of the deceased pet.
- Share happy stories about the pet.
- Offer to talk with the person about his or her feelings, or just listen.
- Be patient: a grieving pet owner will likely go through several different emotions and behaviors.
- Suggest ways to memorialize the pet.
No matter the approach, remember that above all, the grieving pet owner needs a listening ear and perhaps a shoulder to cry on. With care and sensitivity, you can provide both.