When we lose a loved one such as a partner, family member, or close friend, it can have a devastating impact on our lives. Getting used to that person no longer being around can be extremely difficult to cope with and most people are understanding about your situation when you are grieving the loss of a loved one.
However, all too often, the death of a pet is taken very lightly by others even though the owner may be grieving just as much as they would with a much-loved person. In essence, your pet is your family member, and therefore, the loss of the pet is similar to the loss of another close member of your family. There are many reasons why losing a beloved pet can cause so much hurt, and we will look at some of the main ones in this article.
Why Is Losing Your Pet So Devastating?
When you lose a pet that you've had for years, it can be very difficult to cope with, and this is for several reasons. Some of them include:
A Huge Change
Losing anyone as a result of their passing can be extremely hard to cope with, as you know you will never see them again. The same goes for pets, particularly if they have been much-loved members of the family for many years. Humans live far longer than pets, and this means that loss like this is inevitable, but it doesn't make it any easier.
Loss of Emotional Support
For some people, their pets give them endless emotional support. They may not be able to speak to you or do things around the house, but the unconditional love and emotional strength they offer goes a long way. When that emotional support has suddenly been stripped away due to the pet's passing, it can leave the owner feeling devastated and alone.
No Time to Grieve
When you lose a member of your family, you have time to grieve because you can take time off work and you have people rallying around to help you. However, when you lose a pet, there is nothing in place that will allow you to take time out to grieve. Essentially, you simply have to go about your business as usual and try to get on with things, even though you have gone through such a devastating experience.
Lack of Support
The passing of a family member usually results in other people offering a lot of support to help you through your difficult time. This can prove invaluable when you go through a bereavement. However, when a pet dies, people often do not show that same level of support, with some even voicing the opinion that it was only a cat or only a dog. However, to you, this may have been your best friend, your beloved family member, and your emotional rock.
Loss of a Friend
When you have a pet, you often develop a really close bond, and this makes them more of a friend than a pet. People talk to their pets, hug and cuddle them, take them out or on holidays with them, and look forward to getting home from work and being greeted by them. When your pet dies, you end up losing not just your pet but your best friend.
Fortunately, more and more people are realizing what a devastating impact the loss of a pet can have on people's lives. As such, there are now bereavement services such as counseling available for those who have lost a much-loved pet, which is something owners should definitely consider when the time comes.