Experts Tell Jessica Simpson: Daisy's Loss 'Will Not Destroy You'
"It's a very real grief, and you're going to feel awful," says Moira Anderson Allen, author of Coping with Sorrow on the Loss of Your Pet. "You've just lost a family member, and you're going through the same kind of grieving process you'd go through with any serious loss in your life."
Allen tells PEOPLE Pets that acceptance is the first step toward coping with the tragedy. "You're so accustomed to having that pet in your life, and it can take a few weeks to grasp the concept that she's not coming back," Allen says. "But realize that everybody has dealt with this feeling, and you will get through it. It will not destroy you."
Reassuring Simpson – and others who've recently lost a pet – that this will get better with time, Allen warns not to make any hasty decisions immediately after the pet's passing. "When it initially happens, you may react angrily and take down pictures, or get rid of toys," she says. "But box them up and put them in the garage – don't destroy them right away. Your emotions may change in a few weeks, and you could possibly regret getting rid of things you'd prefer to keep."
So should the singer adopt a new pup to take Daisy's place? Probably not yet. "There is no right time to get a new pet, but there can be a really wrong time," cautions Allen. Veterinary Homeopath Dr. Jeff Feinman agrees, adding, "A grief-stricken pet owner is usually not ready to open their hearts to a new pet." Allen suggests asking yourself why you want a new animal: Is it because you can't stop hurting, or because you're truly lonely? But both assert that people should wait a few months before considering a new pet. "I've had clients who grieve for years, or are never ready," says Feinman. "It is a uniquely individual decision."
For now, Simpson should continue to mourn Daisy, but look toward the future, as well, the experts say. "This will get easier every week," Allen assures. "And it's perfectly okay to always miss the pet you had."
Read more about Jessica and Daisy on PEOPLE Pets:
Jessica & Daisy: 5 Years of Friendship
Jessica Simpson's Coyote Nightmare: Common and Preventable