The Need to Tell the Story of Pet Loss
In a heartbreaking tale, a veterinarian explains how he has come to the point in his life where he has to say goodbye to his 16 year old pit bull. He’s a determined pup who doesn’t seem to want to give up on life. While his age is making it hard to do what was so easy before, he was still trying to make his way around the house as confused as he may have been.
One of the hardest things to decide as a pet lives his final days is when to step in and take care of the inevitable end with minimal suffering. The vet expresses he has seen many euthanasians and their family’s reactions. Some become angry, others distraught and sullen, while others will scream and cry hysterically.
One interesting thing the vet writes about is the need for people to tell a story after the initial reaction. Some of the things people may say are:
- “You know, we got him from the shelter at about 3 months old, and he could fit in your hand.”
- “He always slept at the foot of my son’s bed – never left his side, even when was so sick.”
- “She is all I have left of my wife – she died last year.”
The stories are about how the pet joined the family and the place he/she had in it. It’s almost like a mini funeral.
The Need for a Funeral – Recognition of the Pet’s Passing
Since society doesn’t have as much compassion for pet owners as they do for those who have lost a loved one, many people do not get that chance to grieve as they do for people. They never have a real funeral or memorial, and that can make the process of detaching oneself from a pet incredibly hard.
Being able to tell the story of a pet can be a major part of the healing process. It allows people to grieve while they bring up the memories they want to hold on to for many years. This is why people feel the need to tell the stories they do following euthanasia – it’s as if they are holding a ceremony right there for their beloved pet.
Sharing Your Pet Loss Stories
Sharing your pet loss stories can be cathartic. It feels good to be able to vent all of those thoughts, memories, and feelings you have inside of you. It’s almost as if you’re letting steam out of the bag and you can breathe again.
At Memorials for a Lifetime, we want to help people dealing with the loss of your pet. Please consider sharing your pet loss story below. We would love to read it, and you may just end up benefiting from it more than you think.
Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jar0d/4649749639