The Five Stages of Grief by Elizabeth Kübler-Ross

  1. Anger – You may direct it at yourself for of not noticing things sooner, at the illness itself, at the vet for not saving your pet or, in case of an accident, at the person who may have caused the accident. While this feeling is natural, you must ensure that the anger is not carried to the extreme. You may also find yourself lashing out at family members and friends and even directing it at yourself. The best way to deal with your anger is to find someone with whom to talk.
  2. Bargaining – You may search for cures and miracles, get second opinions and wait for that miracle cure to come. You hope that you are just living a bad dream and that you will see your pet alive again. You ask yourself “If only…” questions like “What if only I had gone to the vet sooner, if only I had seen the signs…”
  3. Denial – You may not want to accept that the death has occurred. You may dread coming home without your pet to meet you at the door. You want to believe and are convinced your pet is still with you. Some people may deny the fact that their pet has died and imagine them somewhere suffering. You refuse to think about getting another pet, convinced that you are being disloyal to the pet you just lost.
  4. Depression – This stage may be the hardest and longest for you. You may feel sad, hopeless and full of regret. You may think of your pet constantly, wondering how you could have done things differently to perhaps save him or give him more years. You may be prone to bouts of crying, sadness and wanting to be alone to dwell on your sorrow. You need to make sure that you do not let yourself get very depressed as it is easy to fall into a pattern and sink deeper into depression with time. Force yourself to ho out, socialize and find someone with whom to share your feelings.
  5. Acceptance – After many ups and downs, you will finally reach the point of accepting the loss of your pet. You will start to heal and to cherish the moments that you had with them. You will be able to face the good and had memories in a peaceful manner which, at times, may even bring you happiness. You will start adjusting your life to your new normal. You may even consider looking for a new furry friend to join you family.