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Will I Ever Get Over the Death of My Pet?

Memorial Pet Portraits from your Photos
by Emma Kaufmann

Emma Kaufmann
Emma Kaufmann

When you lose a pet you can feel overwhelmed with emptiness. There is that aching feeling at the center of your days. Something is missing  – some essential part of you. For a long time you feel that loss. Sometimes it is hard for your friends to understand that a pet you loved so much is gone and that is why you feel lost without your pet companion.

I have talked to those who have lost a pet and know that they feel very alone with their grief. I tell them they need to reach out to friends and family – people who understand and will listen to them in their time of crisis.

I also tell people to surround themselves with laughter. Yes, this might seem odd to you if you have just lost a pet, but finding ways to laugh at yourself and to surround yourself with positive, funny people is one way to move forward from your loss. Laughter is the best medicine.

It is also important to accept that there has been a major tragedy in your life. Sometimes, you will need to sit quietly with your memories of your pet and let yourself feel your loss, really feel it. For it is only by connecting with our deepest inner selves that we can begin to heal.


At some point down the line, you will be ready to move on, step by step. At some point, you will be ready to move forward.

How can you get from that place, a place of sorrow and hopelessness, back to a sense of being back in the swing of life?

For some people, commissioning a beautiful tribute to their pet is a useful tool in the grieving process. You might want to consider commissioning a portrait of your pet that will light up your room the way your pet used to. That empty place inside your heart does not have to stay empty. In my experience with people who have lost pets, sometimes having a portrait made can be the first step towards healing a broken heart.


Some people come to me to commission a portrait because a painting can say more than a photo. They tell me about their pet, about all the quirky adventures they had together, and this helps me to really capture the character of their pet in either pastel or watercolor.

Other people come to me because they have a friend who is having difficulties getting over the death of a pet and know that the gift of a portrait of a beloved pet might cheer up their friend and make the healing process a little bit easier if she can look up at the wall, see the portrait and remember all the good times.


So how will you know when you are ready to move onto the next, less painful period of grief? You will know that some of the worst is over when you find yourself being able to focus on the silliness, laughter and love that your pet brought you. Maybe at that point one of my portraits will help keep that smile planted on your face every time they look up at their portrait on your wall.

I usually do portraits of pets on their own, but sometimes clients ask me to incorporate them or one of their children into the portrait. This is an example of such a human and pet portrait:


About the Author: Emma Kaufmann was born in London, England. She studied Art History and Art and spent many hours being classically trained, honing her skills in anatomy, life drawing and painting. She worked in PR and at art galleries until a meeting with Mr Right. Then Emma hopped the pond to Baltimore USA and got married, and has since birthed two children and acquired two guinea pigs.

Her passion for both animals and kids led to her becoming a portrait artist. She usually works from your photos but if you live in the vicinity she would love to come meet the subject (be it pet or child) in person in order to better capture his/her personality.

Emma loves to create portraits in pastel and watercolor. She can create a portrait of your child and your pet together – which is a unique gift for a loved one. She also works as a pet bereavement artist, creating wonderful memories of your cherished pet once he has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Contact Emma to find out more about her Memorial Pet Portraits at or visit her website.