THE EXPERIENCE OF PET LOSS – Four Common Grief Reactions (5 of 12)

PART 5 OF 12

EXPERIENCE OF PET LOSS

FOUR COMMON GRIEF REACTIONS

PHYSICAL

Back, neck, and muscle pain
Weight loss
Weakness or fatigue
Stomach upset
Diarrhea or constipation
Emptiness/heaviness feelings
Headaches
Chills, sweating, or cold hands
Chest pain or tightness
Difficulty breathing
Dry mouth
Increased startle response
Heart palpitations
Change in sleep habits
Change in appetite
Feelings of exhaustion

EMOTIONAL

Shock & numbness
Sadness, sorrow, and despair
Anger or irritability Resentment
Guild or regret
Anxiety
Fear you are “going crazy”
Helplessness
Feeling overwhelmed
Mood swings
Heightened awareness
Feeling your pet being present
Loneliness
Yearning or pining
Apathy–not caring about anything
Lack of pleasure in activities

COGNITIVE

Disbelief, feelings that it isn’t real
Confusion and disorientation
Memory/concentration problems
Asking  ‘why?’
Unable to get your pet off of your mind
Idealization of your pet
Lowered self-esteem
Revisioning the last day’s of your pet’s life
Difficulty making decisions
Dreams or nightmares about your pet
Feeling of meaningless
Depersonalization; sense of unreality
Thinking you want to be with your pet
Questioning spiritual or religious beliefs
Thinking no one else understands
Thinking other bad things will happen

BEHAVIORAL

Inability to sit still
Change in level of activity
Searching for your pet
Sighing or crying
Carrying objects linked to your pet
Social withdrawal; wanting to be alone
Avoiding reminders of your pet
Change in sexual desire
Feeling need to tell story over & over
Clinging or difficulty with separation
Wanting to save everything of pet’s
Staying busy keeping mind off of loss
Talking to your pet
Expecting your pet to be there when you get home
Leaving your pet’s belongings where they were
Avoiding activities you used to do with your pet