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Grieving The Loss Of Your Fish

Grieving the loss of your fish is a difficult process for many, more so if your pet used to be around for a long time. Pet fish may not cuddle up next to his owner, or make funny sounds, but that doesn't mean they can't make dependable, loving companions.

Fish, like other pets, have their own temperaments that endear them to their owners. Your own way of grieving the loss of your fish is not the same as the next fish lover. Each compassionate pet lover has his own way of expressing grief over the loss of his pet.

For some, death of a pet is more difficult than the loss of a human loved one. With the death of a human loved one, the bereaved usually receives more emotional support from family, friends, among others. But when a pet dies or when grieving the loss of your fish, even well-meaning people who do not understand the level of bonding you've had with your pet can come up with hurtful comments about losing "just an animal", or "you can always get another one". For others, the grieving process is swift and less emotional. This doesn't mean they did not love their pets as much, it was just their personal reaction to the loss.

In grieving the loss of your fish, you will go through several complex stages, including denial, bargaining, anger, sadness, and resolution. These processes usually happen a few months to a year after you've lost your pet, and may not come in the exact sequence. Denial is when we initially try to shield ourselves from the hurt brought upon by the loss, so we think that something like this cannot be happening.

Bargaining is when we try to negotiate with God or with your pet so he won't have to go. It's not unusual for a desperate pet owner to tell his dying pet something like, "If you get better, I will take better care of you." Anger, on the other hand, comes right after denial stage, when we try to blame other people for the loss of our beloved pet. The sadness stage is the most recognized in the grieving process because here the most obvious signs appear: a bereaved pet owner may find trouble eating, sleeping, or going about his regular chores. Resolution is when we finally get to accept the loss, and start cherishing our lost pet's memory. This is when bereaved owners consider getting new pets, not to replace their lost ones, but to actually move on and find another lovable creature to share their lives with further on.

In grieving the loss of your fish, always remember that you're not crazy to be agonizing over it so much. You may consider joining pet loss counseling groups where you can share your experience with others in the same situation as you are. Loss of anything we've loved and cherished is bound to hurt. Always remind yourself that grieving the loss of your fish is a time limited process which will help you get stronger and feel better again.

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