The loss of a pet while living abroad

Your pet passing away is difficult, and even more difficult when you're miles away.

When you don't get to see your pet day to day, the shock appears in a different form and it feels surreal to think that they aren't just at home.

Pets are a part of the family and in a way, they shape our identity. Once they're gone it hits you like a brick wall. Whether it's unexpected or if you and your family decided to end the suffering. There's no situation where it doesn't tear your heart right out.

Dealing with loss when you're in a different continent is extremely difficult to process, because again, it just feels so surreal. It'll creep up on you when you least expect it, at least it does for me. The first two months after my dog's passing felt surreal, it almost felt like I could go back home and he'd be there, a weird relationship with object permanence for sure.

But our pets have been loved, and have loved us right back. The memories will stick, and whatever grief you feel is valid. I deal with it by having his pictures everywhere, and remembering how special he was to me and my family, and never forgetting that I loved that dog as much as I possibly could.

There's no easy way to go about it, just remember the good, and cherish the time you spent together. Hopefully your pet felt just how much love you had (and will always have) for them.

Grief looks different for everyone, so take your time and keep their memory alive.

Charlie Geerman | November 10 2004 - August 17 2020

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