Some might think true grief is reserved for our fellow homo sapiens, but  the loss of a pet prompts real mourning.

Even in the UK, which has what is seen by many non-Britons as a slightly repressed attitude towards death, prolonged mourning and visible grief is considered normal for the death of a family member or a close friend.  The writer, broadcaster and former Labour deputy leader Lord Hattersley wrote this week in a newspaper about his grief for Buster his canine companion of 15 years, who died in October.
“I sat in the first floor room in which I work, watching my neighbours go about their lives, amazed and furious that they were behaving as if it was a normal day,” wrote Hattersley. “Stop all the clocks. Buster was dead.”

Our animal companions provoke strong feelings.

For anybody who has had a pet in their life they form a unique and very special member of the family, and remain so. In terms of that very special bond that individuals share it’s like any bond, once it’s broken, individuals feel that loss. That is expressed as grief.

The dog or the cat isn’t just part of the family it is their family. It may be they want their pet treated with the same dignity accorded to any member of the family. If granny died in hospital you wouldn’t leave the doctor to make the funeral arrangements.

Most people they take the day off but most tend to tell a lie for fear of ridicule or that the boss won’t understand. They take a day of sick leave rather than admit to being off because of pet bereavement.

Many of those facing up to such sadness want spiritual reassurance. When humans die, many religious relatives have the consolation of their belief in an afterlife. In the world of pet bereavement, this is often referred to as “Rainbow Bridge”, based on a prose poem written by an anonymous author in the 1980s. “Rainbow Bridge” is a mythical pet heaven.The spiritual side of pet bereavement is powerful.

And of course, there is something near unique about pet bereavement – the issue of euthanasia. Many pet owners have had to make a decision that only tiny numbers ever have to make about a human relative – the decision to end a life, with all the guilt that that entails.

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Article source: BBC News

1 Comment

  1. I’m facing this issue with my pet cat named Puma. He’s 13yrs old. He has Kidney failure and after the lab results she suggested to euthanize him. I refused because he’s still got a lot of life left in him. He’s not lethargic. He still plays, eats and leaps onto the sofa to disturb the rest of a bird that chose to pirch itself on the windowsill. So, he displaying discomfort or sufferings
    Of course, I was devasted at the news. After pouring my heart out to God about why put them here to fall in love and then lose them to illness and old age. He is all I have. I looked in the bible to find out Gods feeling toward animal life and I found one comforting passage in
    Luke 12:6 (ESV) where Jesus was giving an example about the depth of Gods love toward us.
    It says ”
    “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God.”

    Matthew 6:26 (ESV)
    Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

    Psalm 145:9 (ESV)
    The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.

    God knows and loves Puma. He was not created and forgotten. So, when Puma dies God will know about it and he will take care of Pumas spirit. God cares about Puma.

    He’s just not going to never exist when he leaves this world. There is someone inside of this furry body, with a personality, that can show love and recieve love.

    This has been my comfort for myself and regarding Puma when the time comes to let him go.

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