The loss of a pet can be overwhelming. And although I experienced it years ago, I choose not to revisit that chapter of my life at this time. You can, however, read all about Leo at your leisure…
Today I wanted to write about my loss #punintended for words when someone close to me recently lost her dog…
Scout had been smacking cancer in the face for more than 500 days after diagnosis. That was so rare, it was hard to even think he was ill. He was thriving.
And then he was not.
LOSSES ARE DIFFERENT –
and I always understood that – when it came it humans. The loss of one’s parent, child, spouse, sibling – they’re all unique because of the relationships.
The loss of a pet is not only different – it’s excruciating. It’s a pain that has been described as overwhelming and as a result it can trigger all sorts of painful and difficult emotions.
Most people who’ve gone through the loss of a pet will tell you –
My pet died and I can’t stop cryingPsychology Today
And while others may never understand the depth of the love you had for your pet. It’s not their fault, just please don’t ever feel guilty or ashamed about your grieving process.
UNCONDITIONAL LOVE –
is probably the best way to describe the relationship which explains this immense loss. As a pet parent, our world has literally revolved around our pets, their absence disrupts every aspect of our daily routines.
When people who have never had a dog see their pet parent friends mourn the loss of a dog, some don’t understand. If that’s the case, often times the wrong words may spill from their mouths, like –
- Don’t cry
- It was just a dog
- He’s better off now
- You’ll feel better if you get another one.
Be cognizant that these statements are not intended to offend or hurt you. As insensitive as it may sound – they just don’t understand.
SYMPATHY ETIQUETTE –
can be as easy as picking up the phone, driving over and just listening. When I received the text from Kimberly –
We’re putting Scout down today, He turned around out of the blue and he’s been going downhill fast.
My response was –
I’m here, I’m praying.
– and then I waited.
After a few days, I texted and suggested we talk. She called and I listened. I sensed during the conversation how cathartic this was for her, so the following episode we dedicated it to Scout.
She shared all that was on her heart, like –
- things people did that were supportive and appreciated
- the not so nice comments
- adjusting to a quieter home
- her grieving process, etc..
You can listen here to Episode 3 (Season 2) –
I learned a great deal listening to her. She helped me remember when someone loses a pet, the best medicine is to surround them with any form of unconditional love and support.
So loved and so missed – all of them… ❤️