“I didn’t know anyone else felt as deeply as I do towards animals,” a number of people have confided in me.
When it comes to your love of animals, you may not be as alone as you think! Some pet owners are extraordinarily attached and dedicated to their animal companions. So when their good (or best) friends die — or otherwise leave their lives — they are heartbroken and sometimes devastated.
Since more and more animal lovers are “coming out of the closet,” fewer animal lovers are feeling as alone with their intense pet-related grief. More and more animal lovers are openly talking about their deep bonds with their furred, feathered, finned, and scaled friends. Peoples’ attitudes towards pet loss have really changed in the last 40 years – especially in the last decade. Despite growing enlightenment, misperceptions about pet loss still persist. These myths hinder healthy mourning. Here are some of the myths followed by the realities.
Top Myths About Losing Your Pet
Myth 1. People who experience intense grief over the loss or anticipated loss of a pet are crazy, weird, or strange.
Reality: Individuals who say this, or believe this, are judgmental. Experiencing powerful feelings of distress over the loss of a loved animal companion is, usually, normal and healthy. People who have strong feelings about the loss of a pet have them because they are capable of intimate attachments and deep emotional bonding. This is something to be proud of, not something to put down.
Myth 2. Pet loss is insignificant when compared to the loss of human life. To mourn the loss of a pet devalues the importance of human relationships.
Reality: The loss of a beloved animal companion can be as emotionally significant, even more significant, than the loss of a human friend or relative. People are capable of simultaneously loving and caring about both animals and humans. One doesn’t have to detract from the other.
Myth 3. It is best to replace the lost pet as quickly as possible. This will ease the pain of loss.