How can I handle grieving the loss of a pet?

Our pets become integral parts of our lives. We spend hours with them, they bring us joy, and they enjoy our presence, too. It is natural and fitting that we mourn the death of a pet. Grieving the loss of a pet should be respected as a needed, mentally healthy process just like the mourning of other losses in our lives. We, in turn, can lend our love and support to those grieving the loss of their pets.

The Bible gives us many examples of grieving and shows us that it's a natural part of life. But the season of intense grieving does come to an end. No grief should cripple us to the point of not being able to live our lives. Even in grieving our loved ones, such as a spouse or child, God wants us to grieve, but He also wants us to move forward with our lives. We do not dismiss our love or our loss, but we choose to step into the future.

God wants to be our comforter in all difficult situations (Psalm 34:18; 2 Corinthians 1:3–4). In our broken world, God knows we carry so many hurts and losses. Our pets are a blessing, bringing joy to our lives. God knows this, and when they leave us, He is there to comfort us. Tell Him how much you enjoyed this wonderful pet He allowed you to love. Tell Him how sweet and funny your pet was and that you will miss all their quirks and silliness. Tell God that your heart is broken by having to say goodbye. He longs to come into all our hurting places and love us.

If you are struggling to get past grieving the loss of a pet, if it is disrupting your life, you also need to take that to God for His perspective and help. Ask Him to ground your heart and mind in His truth and goodness, and to alleviate the sadness that is holding tight to your heart. Ask God to bring to mind Scripture that will re-orient your heart and mind. John 17:17 says, "Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth." This is how we help our minds turn off the repeated messages that can cripple us, by reading His Word.

James 1:17 tells us, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." The loving, wonderful animals we are allowed to care for and love for a short time are good gifts from God. God gives many gifts to us in this difficult world. Praise Him for each gift and for each season as they come and go (Ecclesiastes 3:1–11).

Related Truth:

Do pets/animals go to heaven?

Does the Bible say anything about overcoming grief / processing and handling grief?

What does the Bible teach about sadness?

In Ecclesiastes 3:11, what does it mean that 'He has made everything beautiful in its time'?

Death - What does the Bible say about it?

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