loss of a pet can be an extremely difficult and painful experience. This is
situation is not helped by the fact that often the loss is not acknowledged as
being a very important event. Many people try to minimize the loss by saying,
"It's only a cat", or "It's only a dog." To say this is to
fail to understand the bond between pet owners and their pets. Today's pet
owner considers their animal to be a family member, and misses their pet nearly
as much or just as much as any human family member when the pet dies.
is a normal response to any important loss in life. It occurs regardless of
whether death followed a prolonged illness, or a sudden accident. Grieving
people experience both physical and emotional traumas as they try to adapt to
the upheaval in their lives brought about by the loss.
death of a pet means the loss of a non-judgmental love source. There is no
longer anything for the pet owner to nurture and care for. Furthermore, the
owner looses his or her contact with "the natural world." These
feelings can be particularly intense for the elderly, single people and
childless couples,( for whom the pet also is a child substitute).
Grief is probably the most confusing, frustrating and emotional thing that a person can experience. It is even more so for pet owners. Society in general does not give bereaved pet owners "permission" to grieve openly. Consequently, pet owners often feel isolated and alone. Luckily, more and more resources are becoming available to help the bereaved pet owner realize that they are NOT alone and that what they are feeling is entirely normal.
STAGES OF GRIEF
LOSS AND CHILDREN
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