In the drapery of our lives, several strands are as true, unreserved, and vibrant as the bond we have forged with our beloved pets—our fur-friends and fur-babies. At the moment they cross the threshold of our hearts—the purest form of love, joy, and companionship unfolds.
They become our life partners, confidants, and more importantly, family. And, when the inexorable day comes, when we can no longer hold their paws, physically feel their fluffs, hear their gentle purrs or see their tails wagging when we approach the door, it feels as if our souls have fallen into an abyss.
Lamenting for the loss of a beloved pet is deeply personal and tragic, and yet, it is also plagued with misbeliefs that the society interlaces into its different curtains of understanding.
Misconception #1: “It’s Just a Pet”
This is one of the most prevalent misconceptions we hear most of the time. It chips away the deep connection forged between an owner and its furry companion. This notion—that as if losing a pet is less significant than mourning the loss of a human loved one, but it is not, and it will never be, most especially if you have treated and welcomed it as your family.
The reality is, losing a beloved pet is just as devastating as losing another family member. And recognising this type of pain, as well as validating this misery, is essential for healing.
Misconception #2: “You’ll Get Over It Quickly”
Why does some think or expect that grieving for a departed beloved pet should just be brief, easy, or should be taken lightly? Because truth be told, this type of dolor is a multiplex process that varies from one person to another.
It is vital to know that everyone goes through grief differently, and at their own pace and ways. And the deep level of bond shared between an owner and his beloved per even more intensified the mourning—making it a heavier, longer, and onerous journey. When you rush the healing process, it can possibly hamper the emotional growth that is needed and crucial to fully recuperate.
Misconception #3: “It Is Not as Painful as Human Loss”
Grieving is never a competition and the depth can be immeasurable—that should be clearly reiterated. Comparing the pain of losing a pet to a loss of a human beloved is one unfair judgement.
This loss is unique, as it takes in the loss of a loyal best friend that has brought joy, love, and light into our lives that go beyond bounds.
Misconception #4: "Just Get Another Pet"
Some would incorrectly believe that replacing a departed beloved pet with a new one would make the grief bearable—as if they think that it’s just a simple thing or toy that can be swapped instantly.
But, no. Remember that each pet is unique as they are—so is their relationship with their owners.
Some owners who have just lost their beloved pets can’t even endure seeing someone’s pet playing and full of life—because they deeply miss theirs. What more when you rush them into getting another pet? Don’t get this wrong—welcoming a new pet will certainly give sunshines and rainbows to the bereaved, but it is crucial to allow himself to take it slowly and surely, allowing enough time to mourn and heal.
Misconception #5: "You Should Be Over It by Now"
Grieving doesn’t have timelines, and the process of healing isn’t bound by deadlines. It’s just the society—that often presumes pet owners should move on swiftly, brushing aside the immense and lasting impact of a loss.
The nexus of a pet and owner is so fervent that even as years may pass, the exact, gaping feeling of grief could resurface unexpectedly, and at a stroke. This, understanding the bereaved owner is a must—allowing them to manoeuvre their mourning without judgement and at their own tempo.
Pouring out Paw-sitivity amid Fallacies
In the orbit of losing a pet, it is important, more than ever, to dispel the array or misconceptions that mar its meaning and sentimentality.
Kindness doesn’t cost you a thing—but it could give a huge impact on helping a pet owner, who has lost his furry companion, alleviate the heaviness he feels, and go through the process, knowing that his feelings are valid, well understood and deserving of empathy and respect.