Why are Animal Deaths Sadder than Human Deaths
Working through the loss of a pet, or why the death of an animal companion can sometimes hurt much more than the loss of a human loved one.
How did you start working in this pet bereavement space?
Think like anyone who feels a calling or pull to some other kind of activism. In that case, it begins with powerful, personal events. In my case, if it was the death of my cat Kyro. He had a big love for me.
Some other attachments are just bigger than these others. Your pet and you shared an immense passion for each other. He was beautiful, curious, and funny.
What is an animal chaplain?
It’s such a brave or new calling, and it’s still evolving according to each other’s chaplain’s backgrounds, values, temperaments, personalities, etc.
The shocking conditions in slaughterhouses are their call to this action for some other animal chaplains if they may become activists in the push to change these horrific conditions or stop animal farming altogether.
These others may work quietly as co-pastors with faith leaders in their communities, bringing an animal consciousness to worship, leading, or serving in the blessing for these animals during the Feast of St. Francis.
Others still talk or walk sweetly among these animals in shelters, loving them and easing their loneliness or fear as they wait or sit.
How do you help some others cope with the loss of a pet?
If I never position myself as an “expert,” this way, let’s say, a mental health professional may. Their mourner or griever is the “expert” in their loss or pain. We didn’t try to take this pain away. And we don’t treat their deep sadness as a mental health issue.
There is no pill for heartache. So, I listened to this story about how they loved their animal companion, and he couldn’t live without them. As part of grieving, guilt is always. Suppose I try to help them realize the reality of this death, however, unless that reality is acknowledged. In that case, the forward movement toward reconciling their lives to this loss won’t happen.
What are the misconceptions about this loss of a pet?
So often, when an animal companion dies, amd their human partner is suffering, well-meaning people say somethings such as: “it’s only a dog,” “get over it, come on,” “you can always get another one,” “they’re better off,” “be strong,” “you’re crying too very much,” “get a life.”
And so, these grief-stricken people suffer. These losses of their pet, their animal companion, are profound.
And these other kinds of comments “disenfranchise” their loss, their grief denying these people the validity of their grief. Still, grief is grief. Loss is loss. Their misconception is that the relationship between a person or an animal can’t carry the same value as this relationship between a person or a person.
How is losing animal companions similar to losing a human loved one?
The heartbreak is painful. Of course, the closer we are to these people, the more deeply we mourn that person’s death.
Still, this is true of these animals we love, too. There is a difference between losing humans or animals, and it has to do with the depth of this love. Species don’t matter at all.
Why do you think that some feel more grief over the loss of an animal companion than a human one?
Our relationship with our animal companions is less complex or complicated than that between other people or us. We seldom argue with our pets. We rarely resent them. We have few, if any, conditions for this love we and our pets share.
Our pets depend on us totally, or their personalities and needs are imprinted on us. Our human relationships are rarely that very simple, pure, or rich. We judge our human companions. We argue and have expectations for humans. We are hurt by, or we harm, humans.
What advice do you want for those coping with losing an animal companion?
Suppose we live in a grief-avoidant society. We do anything to avoid pain, grief, and pain for those who have lost some pets to death and are trying to come from these terms with it if I ask them to move toward the pain. Don’t fight it.e Please don’t run away from it. If you do, it can make it stronger or much more persistent.
What are services available to those looking for some support?
Foremost or first, your support system in your network for your friends. These are support groups in almost every mid-size city. There will be meetings once a month in a church or at this local SPCA shelter.
How long does it take to stop crying after they lose a pet?
Their losing a beloved pet is always emotionally devastating. Still, society doesn’t always recognize how impactful the loss can be to our physical health or emotional.
After losing a pet, symptoms of acute grief can last for one to two months, or on average, suffering may persist for an entire year.
How painful is losing a dog?
How to get over the pain of losing a dog? If you’ve experienced the loss of a beloved pet, here are some key points to help you heal or recover.
- Talk to someone about it.
- Give yourself time to heal.
- Do not blame yourself.
- Allow yourself to suffer.
- Build a Memorial.
- Take some time off.
- Understand why this happened.
- Talk to your kids about what happened.
What do pets do after they put a dog to sleep?
Their cremation. Cremation – burning to reduce this body to these ashes – is the most common way to handle the bodies of very small animals after euthanasia. This is done in a special incinerator that makes these ashes sterile if the dog has a contagious disease.