First off, don't try to be TOO brave. :) You hurt for a reason, and it's okay to do so. These people and animals were/ARE important to you, and it is necessary to mourn for their loss.
There are stages to loss, and you'll go through all of them. It's completely normal. Not easy, and maybe not always pleasant, but completely normal. :(
Talking about the person sometimes helps, remembering all the reasons why you cared about them and reliving the positive times you had can bring a surprising measure of comfort to many people. It's usually a little painful as well, but overall the experience of going through those happy times makes you feel better.
I don't know what your religious/afterlife beliefs are, but if you do believe in an afterlife or something of that nature, this can be a real comfort. Goodbye is not forever. You will see them again. It's easier to deal with a loss when put in terms of it being for a period of time. For my part, I believe in the traditional Christian viewpoint of Heaven and an afterlife, but also on a scientific level, "energy cannot be created or destroyed" and I believe that when that energy leaves a person, it continues on one way or another. I have my personal construct, but I believe there is science to back the general idea up as well.
There are many online support groups as well that deal specifically with grief. Knowing that there are others out there who are going through what you are, and can immediately identify can really help. Google is a great place to start.
It DOES get better. At first it seems like the giant, aching hurt is so big, and so powerful that NOTHING will ever assuage it. But life doesn't work that way. Over time, the hurt starts to fade and the better things take it's place. You never forget them, but instead of every memory being sharp and piercing, they get softer and bring comfort rather than pain. Hanging onto that knowledge helps. Rain doesn't last forever.
Always remember that there is someone out there who cares about you. You may not even know them, but there are people who care. Friends, family, coworkers, religious officials, support groups, message boards like this one, there is SOMEONE out there who cares about you. :) There is always someone willing to listen. :)
Prayer and meditation helps. Just being calm and quiet helps. I had a death in the family that was sudden and that came at a very, very difficult time...and at one point I went to the cemetery and just yelled at God for a while. :) I was like a little kid throwing a tantrum in the grocery store...but God was big enough to know that I was hurting and needed someone to vent to. He understands. :) And I felt better afterwards. I had said what I needed to say, things that I couldn't say to people...but I could yell at the clear blue sky. I also visited him for years afterwards. When a cemetery holds the earthly leftovers of someone you love, they become beautiful places. They are so quiet, and inclusive. I'd go and talk to him, telling him about what was going on, sometimes about how I missed him, but mostly about how I was doing and what was going on...trivial things like grocery shopping and University and what my animals had been up to. He couldn't answer me anymore, but it was nice to know that I could still talk to him.
I believe that things happen for a reason. I don't believe that God necessarily makes things happen...but He always finds something positive to come out of them. At some point, this experience will either enrich your own life, or it will help you to help someone else. Tragedies may be senseless, but they can acquire meaning and purpose. As cliché as it seems, there really is always a silver lining. Sometimes it just takes longer to find it in the storm.
I hope that some of this helps. And feel free to PM or email me at: TheIrishPony@gmail.com
if you need someone to care. :) Sometimes it's much easier to talk to strangers, and much easier to write things down than it is to say them out loud, face to face, and with people you know in person. :)