I grieved for two years when one of my dog's died and when I look at photos of him I still get a heavy heart, 10 years later. I cried my eyes out when my childhood dog died, bawled like a baby when I had to pick up my rabbit from the vet after he died after an operation and cried when I took our last remaining axolotl back to the pet shop because I was killing them and didn't know why (and to find out recently that he is alive and thriving completely made my day) but if one of my children died and someone told me they knew how I felt because they felt how I did when their pet died I'd punch them in the face and probably never speak to them again.
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24-04-2012 12:50 #41Our family is complete!
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24-04-2012 13:15 #42
I think that the actual issue is that most people struggle to find the appropriate way to deal with other peoples grief. It's not just statements comparing the loss of a child to a pet, so many people say inappropriate things to a grieving person, which may seem like the right thing, but generally isn't. I can't imagine that anyone would compare the losses with the intention of making the grieving person feel angry at them. Or to somehow lessen that persons grief.
Grief is extremely personal and if the only loss you've had in your life is the loss of a much loved pet, that grief to you is horrific.
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Stiflers Mom (24-04-2012)
24-04-2012 13:42 #43
I have had my little dog for 10 years and he has been with me through all the major changes in my life, losing my dad, getting married and the birth of my boys, he is my first baby an I still call him that the day he passes will be a very sad day for me and yet it would feel like I lost one of my children because in "my world" I have
24-04-2012 13:48 #44
I really do think it's inappropriate to judge how someone grieves. Grief is grief, you feel what you feel. At this point, with the pain so fresh, it might well be as difficult for her as the loss of a child would be to someone else. Who knows? And does it matter?
The only time I would say it was inappropriate would be if someone were to compare their loss of a pet to another person's loss of a child. But then again, I don't even know if it would be appropriate to compare another person's loss of a child to your own. Each person's situation, history, relationship, grief is intensely personal; IMO comparison is rarely appropriate.
24-04-2012 13:56 #45Senior Member
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I think that sometimes people who haven't had children see their pets as the closest thing to that.
Prior to DD I was a shocking offender for it. I never used it to compare/ discuss deaths, but I remember once stopping myself mid-sentence, as a workmate was talking about how expensive it is to go on holiday with lots of kids, but how he didn't want to go without them. I came back with something along the lines of "Yes, I've really found that cattery fees have gone up lately. And when I went travelling for a few months I really did miss my cats, but..." (remove foot from mouth)
But, as others have said, I don't think there should ever be a contest or a competition when it comes to grief. Often people want to show 'understanding' by talking about a 'similar' situation they have been in, when perhaps the better thing to do would be to listen and to support the other person, and abandon all attempts at sameness.
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24-04-2012 14:15 #46
I suspect they just have no idea what it's like to deal with the death of a child. To some people, their pets will be the closest thing they've experienced to a child, so at that point in time, it does feel like that to them. They are trying to express how much it's hurting... of course, I suspect if they actually had children who died, their dog's death would pale in comparison.
I have to say the death of pets has always been horrible for me. The only person somewhat close to me to die was my grandmother, and I didn't see her much because we didn't live near her and she was old and sick and heading that way for ages anyway.
My cat, Chester, who just "went missing," one day and was never seen again... his probably death is far more hurtful to me than the death of any human in my life.
24-04-2012 14:27 #47
For some people, their pets are their world.
I understand it as the person is grieving, no matter what or who they are grieving for
24-04-2012 17:36 #48Senior Member
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When I had to have my fur baby put to sleep it was like loosing my right arm I was devastated he had been my best friend for 11 years. My daughter was 3 months old (who I never thought I would have) and I can honestly say if anything happened to my princess I would want to curl up and die!!! I miss my best friend but I don't think you can make the comparison.
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