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The loss of our pet cat left my mom grief-stricken. Here’s how I have been helping her cope

Published on:15 February 2021, 14:37pm IST
You have to be resilient and patient, while dealing with a grief- ridden parent.
Nikita Bhardwaj
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Grief is an emotion that takes its own time to settle. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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I feel extremely uncomfortable when it comes to dealing with people, who are grief-ridden. That’s because I don’t understand what to say or how to behave to console them. But, it is important and equally hard to deal with your parents when they are grieving.

It was a few years ago that a stray kitten entered our home and started living with us. And we all know how a pet can make your spaces so lively! My mum would lovingly call him ‘musu’, please don’t ask me why, because I really have no clue! My mum grew so attached to him, so much so that she would celebrate his birthdays, and called him my younger brother. It was on 31st January that he passed away due to jaundice, leaving my mum heartbroken. 

She didn’t eat for a few days, and frankly, I really didn’t know how to deal with the situation.  I still tried my hands at certain things, which helped my mother feel better.

1. I heard her out

I realised that it is very important to hear what a grieving person feels, because this helps them get validation from others about their feelings. My mum told me that after talking and pouring her heart out, she felt much lighter and better.

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If not tackled in time, then grief can become a vicious cycle. Image courtesy: Unsplash
2. I let her cry

I think that was the best thing that I have done. I had read somewhere that crying is another way to feel better, and if the person wants to cry then they should not hold back. And science backs this up — the process is known as homeostasis. Basically, when you cry, it helps you keep a check on your blood pressure and heart rate, which makes you feel calmer.

3. I spent some time with her, so that she doesn’t feel lonely

Yes, I’m guilty of spending 95 per cent of my time working, and the rest of the 5 per cent with my friends. But this episode made me realise how lonely she feels at times. So, I ensured that I was spending enough time with her, so that she doesn’t feel alone and sad. Plus, she also saw that I’m making an effort, after our cat had passed away.

4. We both talked and shared his memories and had good laughs about it

Earlier, I would tell people that my mum and I don’t talk, we only have arguments. But after the loss of our cat, we actually talked about it, shared his memories with each other, and laughed our hearts out.

5. I took her out to distract her

There is no better distraction than stepping out and doing your favourite things. So, I took her out to her favorite places, treated her to her favourite foods, and made her shop. I think we did after a really long time, and it was quite an experience for me as well.

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Just be with them. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
6. Most importantly, I gave her time to heal

Time heals everything – this statement might not make sense for many, but to be honest, this is one statement that I’m a firm believer of. So, although I was there for my mum, I was giving her all the space and time to deal with the situation.

And it’s day 14 without our cat, but I can say my mum is doing way better now.

So, the process of healing might be slow, but these tips really came in handy, especially with my mom. I hope it helps you too!

Nikita Bhardwaj Nikita Bhardwaj

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content.