“It is not just that animals make the world more scenic or picturesque. The lives of animals are woven into our very being – closer than our own breathing – and our soul will suffer when they are gone.” ~ Gary Kowalski
Almost everything I talk about on this blog related to grief directly applies to the loss of a pet. The closer someone (and I think of pets as ‘someones’) is to our daily life, the more intense the grief. Usually the first thing we do when we live with pets is attend to their needs. In my house, our dogs serve as an alarm clock when they are ready to go outside. Marvin, a ten year old black Lab, REALLY needs to go outside when he wakes up. He dances and talks and bounces around. Our other one, Gracie (also 10), who we refer to as our designer dog (Doberman + German shepherd + Husky = Dobshepsky) is the one who usually barks to alert us of Marvin’s need. We’ve had other dogs – as well as cats – over the years and they, too, have served as our alarm clocks. I’m certain that it’s the same in your house – whoever or whatever your pets are.
When they die, it leaves a gaping hole in our day. The pain of this loss is very real. Sometimes people are surprised at their level of grief and think they’ve lost their mind to be grieving so deeply for a pet. Nope. You’re not losing your mind – you’re expressing your love.
As I go forward and talk about the emotional, physical, and spiritual aspects of grief, please know that I am including those people who have lost a pet. It applies directly.
Copyright 2014 Lisa B. Wolfe, Translating Grief, LLC