The 5 Words No Grieving Pet Parent Wants to Hear

“It was just a dog.” Or cat. Or bird, rabbit, rat, lizard, snake, hamster, hedgehog or any other animal that was near and dear to your heart. How can five small words cause so much pain?

First of all, let’s assume that the person who uttered those words had the best intentions (there are exceptions, I know). They saw you hurting and were trying to help, soften the blow, ease the pain. What they didn’t realize is that phrase is like a punch in the gut when you’re already down and out.

Here’s the Truth

The truth is those five words minimize your loss. That statement can make you feel:
•  Judged, embarrassed, ashamed and awkward
•  That your emotions aren’t normal
•  That you don’t have a right to grieve because your loss wasn’t “significant” enough

At the heart of it these words are dismissive. Somehow it sounds like they are diminishing the life of your pet and the value you placed on the relationship.

And this is where you get into trouble. Instead of allowing your feelings to flow naturally so that you can heal, you start to stuff them down and avoid them. You put on a brave face even though your heart is broken and the pain still lingers.

I remember when I was grieving the loss of my first pet. With each careless comment, I started to question my feelings. Was I over-reacting? Was I taking to long to “get over” it? I became convinced I was doing this grief thing all wrong.

Here’s what I know now. The depth of my grief was in direct relation to the depth of my love for my cats. My feelings were normal. And so are yours.

This Is Your Pet Loss Journey

Do not let others take away your right to grieve. Do not let others tell you how to feel. Think about that. What if you didn’t worry about being judged? What happens when you can just feel the way you feel? You’re able to work through your loss in a normal and healthy way, that’s what happens.

Now when I hear someone say “it was just a _____”, it motivates me to examine more closely how we can all better support people through pet loss. Ok, I’ll be honest, it also makes me hope that the ghost of one of my cat’s will pay that individual a visit and pee in their shoe while they’re sleeping. But that’s not going to elevate the conversation we have about pet loss at a societal level. It starts with understanding and empathy.

If someone says something hurtful to you don’t bother arguing with them about whether your grief is appropriate. You need to focus on yourself and your needs. Instead you can:

  • Acknowledge how their words made you feel and reflect on why you felt that way. You can think about it or journal about it. For example:

“Wow, it really hurt when Beth said that it was just a dog. I noticed a tightness in my chest and I had to catch my breath. It hurt because I loved Luna so much and she was a part of my family. It also hurt because I consider Beth a friend and I feel let down that she didn’t understand.”

  • Seek out people that do understand, like other pet parents. You may even want to look beyond your close circle of family and friends, as sometimes the support you need may come from outside of that group.

Express Your Emotions

The only way out of your emotions is through them. Want to sit at home tonight and look at photos of your pet and bawl your eyes out while eating a pint of ice cream? Go for it. Feeling angry and upset that your pet is no longer with you and need a physical release? Go to the gym and let it all out on that punching bag. Don’t feel like crying? That’s fine too.

We express our grief in different ways and that may change from one moment to the next. Don’t let others prevent you from grieving or expressing your emotions in a way that feels right to you. This is your unique journey.

I’m curious… What did someone say that you found helpful?  Drop a note in the comments below.

 

Copyright © 2018 Jen Burton

1 thought on “The 5 Words No Grieving Pet Parent Wants to Hear”

  1. My dearest friends have been texting and calling to check up on me. It’s helpful to know that they understand how deeply I’m mourning, and that I might need to be checked on. Also, when other pet patents have told me how long they grieved, it helps. It makes me feel more normal.

  2. Sell gold phoenix Sell Gold Phoenix Arizona, Phoenix Gold Buyers, Sell Your Silver, Platinum, Diamonds, Best Gold Buyer in Arizona 602-445-6113
    Get the highest prices in town when you sell your gold to Valley Goldmine. Sell your gold in Phoenix Arizona to Valley Goldmine, a Licensed Gold Buyer with offices in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Chandler Arizona. Sell your unwanted gold, silver, plantinum and diamonds for the best price and get great service. Call us today set up an appointment. We buy watches, silverware, dental gold, jewelry and more. Phoenix Gold Buyers: Sell Gold, Silver and Platinum For More Have a Lot or Have a Little We Will Buy It Today! Highest Paying Gold Buyers in Phoenix Anything Made of Gold, Silver …
    The post Sell gold phoenix Sell Gold Phoenix Arizona, Phoenix Gold Buyers, Sell Your Silver, Platinum, Diamonds, Best Gold Buyer in Arizona 602-445-6113 appeared first on Pharma.

    Car-auto News

  3. how do you get life insurance
    Italy Insurance Company, Insurance Companies In Italy
    italy insurance company,insurance companies in italy Italy Insurance Company, Insurance Companies In Italy dealer who won’t let you take the car Italy Insurance Company, Insurance Companies In Italy an independent mechanic or won’Italy Insurance Company, Insurance Companies In Italy cooperate in getting Italy Insurance Company, Insurance Companies In Italy there doesn’t really want to make an honest sale, to describe flights with multiple Italy Insurance Company, Insurance Companies In Italy use multiple FlightReservation items. 514 2, we will Italy Insurance Company, Insurance Companies In Italy the lenders in order of who offers the best representative APR. You’ll Italy Insurance Company, …
    The post Italy Insurance Company, Insurance Companies In Italy appeared first on Car.

    Sweden Business
    iassociate 2 answers crazy
    webjet cheap domestic flights
    the villages fsbo homes
    amazon fulfillment center
    efficiency para

    BONUS TOP 100 DOFOLLOW TRUST LINK LIST SITE

    Fixed-Term Lease or Month-to-Month Rental Agreement
    Apartments For Rent Near Colleges in the US
    Highlands at Alexander Pointe – Apartments in Charlotte, NC
    River Place Towers – River Place
    Apartments For Rent, Cheap Apartments, Apartment Listings, manhattan apartments for rent.
    Alquiler de apartamentos, casas particulares y habitaciones en La Habana, Cuba, apartamentos en renta.
    Property Management & Tenant Placement in Tampa, Florida, Rent Solutions, Tampa FL Apartment & Home Rentals, rent property.
    Apartment Moving Services, Free Moving Quote
    Carlsbad Management Group – Oklahoma City, OK, apartments in oklahoma city.
    Apartment Finder Houston Apartments
    Beacon Hill Apartments – Bluffdale, UT 84065
    Residential – The Henry Clay
    Temporary Rentals Barrie
    Low Income Apartments
    Ilam Apartments
    Home – Prairie Estates Town HomesPrairie Estates Town Homes
    Seattle Apartments for Rent – “The Hill”, Queen Anne, Fremont, seattle apartments.
    London Vacation Apartments for Rent, Short Term Rentals in London, UK
    Hampton Oaks Apartments – Luxury Apartments in Gainesville Florida
    Cheap Holiday Deals – Book Holidays with On the Beach, holiday park apartments santa ponsa.
    News Tribune, Central MO Breaking News, apartments near lsu.
    Apartments For Rent in Jacksonville FL
    Examination Results by School (2014 to Present) – California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology
    Luxury Apartments Edinburgh
    Nearby Apartments for Rent in Manhattan, Top 12252 Apts and Rental Homes in Manhattan, NY
    Two South Portland apartment complexes sell for $87
    Renting a House in Roatan, Honduras
    Apartment Finder Houston Apartments
    Hyper Converged Infrastructure for Containers
    Houses – Homes for Rent in Los Angeles, CA
    Apartments in Southwest Lubbock, TX
    Malta Villas, Apartments – Hotels
    Apartments for Rent in San Francisco, CA – 536 Rentals
    Apartments for Rent in Salt Lake City, UT – 498 Rentals
    Apartment Inspection Punchlist Form Mobile App – iPhone, iPad, Android
    Dauphin Island Real Estate Rentals, Dauphin Island s Vacation Experts
    Sign lighting exterior
    New Jersey Inpatient Drug Rehab Center – Find & Compare Inpatient Drug Rehab Center Professionals in New Jersey
    Going Places RV Rentals: Rent The Perfect RV In Phoenix, Az
    1779 S Heather Meadows Loop
    Luxury Accommodation in Queenstown Apartments Queenstown Hotels with Online Reservations
    Shrinking SQL Log files in an Availability Group Cluster or Database Mirror
    Apartments For Rent Ames, IA
    Property in Nice France
    Serviced Holiday Apartments London Short Lets
    Houston, TX Cheap Apartments for Rent – 940 Apartments
    America – s Oldest Mall Now Contains 48 Charming Low-Cost Micro-Apartments – My Modern Met
    Financial management and accounting services Gauteng
    Hair Removal Forum
    Apartments in Raleigh, NC
    Apartments for Rent in Boston, MA – 6505 Rentals
    Ilam Apartments
    Nearby Apartments for Rent in Miami Beach, Top 4542 Apts and Rental Homes in Miami Beach, FL
    Apartments etc – Apartments In Colorado, Apartments In Denver, Apartments In Colorado Springs, apartments denver.
    LARA – Electrical Licensing Information and Applications
    Furnished Weekly Rentals
    Sotavento Apartments – Magalluf Hotels
    Discovery Gardens Dubai – Properties For Sale and Rent
    Meaningful Use
    Best Places To Rent A Bike In Chicago – CBS Chicago, places for rent.
    Athens GA Furnished Apartments – Temporary Housing
    SEQRents – Rental accommodation, property, student accommodation and share accomodation in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Logan City, Ipswich and South East Queensland
    Lehman College – Office of Pre-Health Advising
    Vermont Law School, law schools in vermont.
    4 Ways to Find an Apartment
    Melbourne 3 Bedroom Apartments – Paramount Serviced Apartments Melbourne
    Online Course Information
    Garage Doors Perth WA
    1800 Oak Apartments in Rosslyn, Arlington – 1800 North Oak Street, arlington va apartments.
    Methodist Specialty Care Center – Methodist Rehabilitation Center – Flowood, MS – Rehabilitation Products – Services
    Jefferson at Marina del Rey Apartments – Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
    Welcome Message
    My House Property Services, Inc
    Holiday Village, portland apartments.
    Renting My House: A Guide for New Landlords
    Atlanta Apartment Renting Apartments with specials in Atlanta
    Alexandria, VA
    Apartments for Rent in Dubai, UAE – Dubai Classifieds
    Apartments for Rent in Brooklyn, OH – 155 Rentals
    Pet Microchip for Dogs and Cats
    Houses for Rent – Find Your Home on, houses for rent in.
    Beacon Hill Apartments – Bluffdale, UT 84065
    Dallas Lofts, Dallas Loft Locator, Downtown Dallas Lofts, Lofts in Dallas, Uptown Dallas Lofts, Uptown Dallas Apartments, downtown dallas apartments.
    Cheap Houses for Sale
    Search Austin Apartments With Austin Apartment Experts! Apartment Experts North, Apartment Experts South, apartment complexes.
    Dubrovnik apartments for rent – Apartment rentals in Dubrovnik, Croatia
    Marina 41 Apartments – Marina del Rey – 4157 V – a Marina
    Apartments in Cary, NC
    Village Green Careers
    Airbnb on the App Store
    Get The Book on Rental Property Investing The Book on Managing Rental Properties
    Jacksonville, FL Apartments for Rent – 227 Apartments – Page 2
    Home – Phyle Inventory Control Specialists – PICS – Phyle Inventory Control SpecialistsPICS – Phyle Inventory Control Specialists
    Housing advocates say Airbnb rentals are replacing Chinatown apartments – The Boston Globe, housing rentals.
    Serviced Apartments London Vacation Rentals accommodation London, short let apartments london.
    Apartment For Rent In HCMC – Best Price by Best Dealer
    Hostin s Rallying Cry: We Are United As Journalists In War Against Trump
    Online Master of Science in Accounting (MSA)
    Rentals in Paris: paris apartment rentals, paris rentals, rentals in paris
    Your access to this site has been limited

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *