Loss of a Pet
You amazed me with your honour
You gave me so much pride
Although my heart is broken
You’ll be always by my side
So wait for me,Beloved one
I know you’re always near
Although you’re lost from sight right now
You’re still with me, right here
This is a post about something that might divide opinion.
The loss of a pet.
Is that the loss of ‘a pet’ or is that the loss of a family member? To each person it’s going to mean something different but isn’t that true of every loss? We all feel an event differently, even the same event happening to the same family will result in different feelings for each concerned.
Some would wonder why it’s a big deal, some will think it’s a bit sad. Others will be devastated.
In my life, my animals are part of my family. Each one different, each one special, each offering different qualities that have helped me.
Having very nearly lost my own life after a brain injury the loss of my independence and control over my life among many other things led to yet another massive downward spiral.
I’ve always had animals and they have always been very important but the role they played in the long struggle to come back from this latest blow was immense. My immediate family all share the opinion that my animals saved my life.
The demands of looking after them as my family grew up gave me dignity. As I felt less and less important and less and less loveable, more of a burden, more as if I was pushing everyone away, that everyone would be better if I wasn’t here and the family inevitably went about living their lives leaving me behind, just as I felt I was on the scrap heap my wonderful animal family loved me more and more, gave me a very personal reason to look to the future.
Gave me successful milestones and daily unstinting love that would never move on into a future without me. I could laugh or cry, be immobile or want to dance, be deep in depression or singing and never once feel as if I was asking anything from them that wasn’t already naturally given.
The self esteem that has always been missing , the pride in any achievements ? I might not be able to find it in myself but I can see it daily in them.
To lose one of them recently, very suddenly has left me feeling sick.
But it has also left me feeling guilty. Very guilty. How can I justify feeling like this when others have things so much worse? This doesn’t compare to losing a family member, it’s after all ‘only a dog.’
I feel guilty for grieving for him. For feeling so depressed and bereft. How can I make a fuss over something so insignificant in the general scheme of life? Is it appropriate to still cry for his loss days later? After all, I obviously knew he would die at some point.
I don’t really expect anyone else to understand. I see it like this; it’s my world that has been impacted. I need to respect my own feelings.
Yes, it is different to losing a human. Of course it is. I think one reason is because you do know and expect that you will outlive your pet, whereas you expect a human to have a full and natural lifespan. Losing a human life is the loss of all of their future too. The future you should have shared.
Losing your animal is losing your own immediate now. It should be acceptable to me to grieve. There is nothing to feel guilty for.
Such a big change so suddenly, all the memories, all the support and love given totally unconditionally.
Is it acceptable to acknowledge these feelings, to have a time of mourning, to react the way I have?
Maybe not to some people but for me it’s left a huge hole in my life and I will give myself the respect of allowing and acknowledging my feelings. They are real to me and that’s what matters here and now.
In Loving Memory