One of the challenging aspects of grief is that it is made of so many different feelings, combined and revealing themselves at different times for different people.
Not only is there the sadness of loss, but there may be others – despair, anger, hopelessness, guilt, and loneliness. These are natural emotions and are not a checklist. We can’t say, “I feel Angry. Done, check that one off.” Instead, we need to acquire tools to move through these feelings, because when we allow ourselves to feel them we can find the other side to them.
This is not about forgetting your dog, or ignoring the important role played by your companion. It is meant to help you resolve negative feelings that may be stopping or blocking you from experiencing a full and meaningful life.
There is no time limit on grief, but when you feel it might be getting in the way of your continued functioning, there are ways to help you through it gently and gracefully.