Grieving my dog is made to feel inferior to grieving a person
We have an underlying understanding in our society that if you lose someone you love, who’s a human, it’s a big deal.
But if you lose a dog, it should at most take you a couple of days to get over it.
But that’s not true, as many dog companions would tell you.
For one thing, I lost my companion right next to me in a sudden and tragic incident. An incident that will traumatise me for the rest of my life, because I literally watched someone I love die within seconds next to me with nothing I could do to stop it.
But for another thing, I spent literally every minute of every hour with my pup. I spent more time by her side than any parents spend with their kids.
I was never separated from her for years. I took jobs that allowed us to always be together, even whilst I worked.
It’s a fair argument that your offspring mean so much to you as to make loss unbearable. But so is the argument where you spend every hour of every day being with the one you love.
This is NOT to say that I loved my pup more than people love their kids. On the contrary, it is to dispel the myth that those of us with canine companions can’t possibly know the love and loss of a family member, or justify our feelings after they’re gone as such.
Imagine always being with the one you love, 24/7 – literally, no hours off.
Then you understand who I lost, the relationship I had, and why it hurts to lose her so much.
Neither grief is superior or inferior.
We love who we love. And when they leave us, we grieve them.
That’s all that matters – that we love them and grieve them.