There is no easy way to say goodbye to your beloved horse. However, there are many ways you can support your mental and emotional well-being during this intensely painful and heartbreaking time. As your partners in respectful and humane end of life services for your horses and large animals, CPM has compiled tips for grieving the loss of your fallen horse, as well as numerous resources to help you through this difficult time.
8 Tips to Help You Grieve the Loss of Your Horse
- Embrace the grief you feel over the loss of your companion; it is normal and natural to experience these feelings over the pain of losing your friend.
- Know that you are not alone; there are many excellent grief support groups for pet owners, equestrians, and livestock owners in Southern California.
- Recognize the different stages of grief, which may include sorrow, loss, guilt, denial, anger, and depression. They may not present themselves at the same time for everyone, but understanding the different phases of grief can help you learn to embrace them when they come to the surface.
- Be honest about your feelings; try to avoid denying your pain and your feelings of grief, anger, and even guilt. Recognize that you are coping with the death of a companion that is dear and precious to you, and it is completely normal to experience sorrow when they pass away.
- Give yourself time to heal; there is no timeframe for the grieving process. That being said, it is important for your mental and emotional well-being to give yourself time to grieve and mourn the loss of your four-legged best friend.
- Memorialize your fallen horse to honor them. One of the best ways to grieve and mourn your horse is to memorialize them in a way that is personal for you. Paying homage to them and celebrating the companionship you had with them can be incredibly therapeutic and healing.
- Talk to your friends and family; try to avoid hiding your feelings and instead, talk to the people you have in your life. Share memories and stories, talk about the pain you’re feeling, and how much your horse meant to you. This is important for the healing process. If you don’t feel like you can talk to your friends and family, ask your veterinarian for support group recommendations and grief support for pet owners and equestrians.
- Seek professional support; oftentimes, professional grief counseling can be incredibly meaningful and helpful during the grief and mourning process to help you heal.
Below are some resources and links you can use for online support, local support groups, and reading materials that can help you during this intensely painful time.
Local Resources In San Jose and San Francisco
SAGE Pet Caregiver Support Group
- 2nd Wednesday of the month 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Humane Society Silicon Valley Companion Animal Loss Support Group
- At the Humane Society 1st Tuesday of the month 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
- Also available via Zoom
Local Resources In Monterey
Papillon Center for Loss & Transition – Pet Bereavement Support Program
- 70 Garden Court, Suite 201, Monterey, CA 93940
- (831) 657-9149
Helpful Links for Grieving the Loss of a Pet
- Losing A Best Friend, Compiled by the San Francisco SPCA
- Strands of Hope: How to Grieve the Loss of a Horse, by Susan Friedland
- Beyond the Rainbow Bridge, by Kimberly Gatto
- Healing Thoughts on Loss, Grief & Horses, Barbra Schulte
- Grief Diary: Heavenly Horses Series, JC Grace
- Coping with Sorrow on the Loss of Your Pet, by Moira Anderson
- Grieving the Death of a Pet, by Dr. Betty Carmack
- Pet Loss: A Thoughtful Guide for Adults and Children, by Herbert A. Nieburg and Arlene Fischer
A Poem For The Grieving…
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn’s rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die…
– Mary Frye
Get In Touch With Us
We hope that you will find strength and serenity as you heal from the loss of your horse. If you have questions about grieving your gentle giant, or you would like recommendations for further resources and reading materials, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to help support you however we can during this painful time. Get in touch with us today for support and assistance.