When a pet dies, sometimes you try to minimize the loss to yourself or others. Maybe you feel guilty for feeling so sad, or embarrassed about the depth of your grief, or like you should be over it, since it’s just a cat or dog.
These feelings, not the grief, are the unhelpful ones. We mourn the loss of things, or people, or beings, that made our lives beautiful and happy. Don’t beat yourself up for loving and missing a pet. That sadness is a sign of your humanity.
You can channel those feelings, if it might help. You can volunteer at a pet shelter, or donate in your pet’s name, or make a little tiny shrine at your house. You can feel sad every day. And if others suggest that you should be over it, or why don’t you get a new pet already, ignore them. They do not get it and are not being helpful. (On the flip side, please do not ever say these things to someone who has just lost a pet).
Any I’m missing?
This entry was inspired by Smokey T. Dog (the ‘t’ stands for ‘the’), who is my dad’s dog, but also mine back in high school. He is such a good boy — probably the best. I said goodbye to him today, and more than anything, I wish I could take him back in time. I wish I could make him young again, so he could be our dog all over again.