Losing a Pet & Why It Hurts So Much

Communing with animals is the closest one can get to God,  for it is here where you will find pure and absolute unconditional love.”©

That is my proclamation and the basis for my work as an Animal Chaplain. My very favorite quote is by Anatole France, who said

“Until one has loved an animal one’s soul remains unawakened.”

Have you ever experienced the deep sense of loss when one of your beloved pets has passed on? Oftentimes, people don’t understand how they can grieve harder when their dog or cat dies than when a human relative or friend dies. That can be quite startling and confusing. And some people may even feel a sense of guilt that they cried harder when “Rover” passed than when their own family member did. Conversely, others may not understand the pain and loss you feel when your pet leaves you and as a result, you may try to hide or stuff your grief.

If you have ever questioned your grief or another’s after the loss of an animal companion, the answer is simply this: Loving an animal and having that animal love you back is often the ONLY time that you will understand and experience unconditional love.

Let me say that again: Loving an animal and having that animal love you back is often the ONLY time that you will understand and experience unconditional love. It may not be a popular opinion, but it is mine that unconditional love between people just is not possible. We think it is. We may tell ourselves it is. But when you can be really honest with yourself, you know that there are always conditions put on our relationships. It’s human nature.

But the love we receive from our pets, who are every bit family members, is absolutely unconditional. And when death takes that love away from us, the pain and despair is deep, the grief is real, and it is heartbreaking and gut-wrenching.

Having been assaulted by grief a few years ago when I lost all three of my “babies” in less than a year took me to a place of discovery and my own unique perspective of death. Understanding the depth of the pain associated with pet loss is what moved me toward becoming an Animal Chaplain (with full credentials and ordination from the Emerson Institute expected in 2015). As such, I offer counsel for the wave of emotions that come up during the stages of pet loss grief. Please feel free to contact me at michele@angelsbark.com if I can be of any support during that very difficult time.

Quote Copyright: ©MTruhlik, July2010

One thought on “Losing a Pet & Why It Hurts So Much

  1. Pingback: Four Cats and a Dog – Blogs That Is – Scooter's Tale

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