Happy Friday, everyone! Well, if you remember Monday’s post, it hasn’t been a very happy week for us. We’re getting better, though we’ll always miss our little Princess.
And most of the people we’ve told about our grief have been very comforting. However, there’s always a few whose “words of comfort” cause more pain than if they’d just zipped their lips! So for our Friday Five, let me share with you four things you should NOT say to a grieving pet owner – plus one thing you that’s ALWAYS OK to say!
- Trivializing your loss: “Too bad, but can’t you just go to the animal shelter and get another one? There’s thousands of ’em out there who need good homes.”
Um, yeah, that’s true. And maybe when some time goes by, we’ll consider doing that very thing.
Right now, though, the cat we ALREADY adopted, and have loved for over 13 years, has left us, and we’re very sad about that. Would you say the same thing to someone who’d just lost their grandfather, child, or spouse?
- More trivializing: “It’s just a cat (or dog, or horse, or whatever) – what’s the big deal?”
The “big deal” is it’s a living creature we’ve spent time with EVERY DAY for the past 13+ years, and we’ll miss her.
- Second-guessing: “Are you sure you have to put her to sleep? I heard about someone whose cat had the same thing and they took her to a Mexican vet who fixed her right up!”
Uh, yeah, sure … let’s put our sick cat in the car, and drive for several hours across the border into a country we’re really not that familiar with, and see if we can find a vet who knows how to CURE CANCER … yeah …
- Glurging them to death: Look, I get it. The “Rainbow Bridge” poem is sweet (I guess). And I’m sure it’s helped a lot of people. However, I worry that maybe some of the pets I’ve accidentally killed, like little Harlan Ellison, the hamster I squished with my mattress when I was moving into my new apartment, might not be so thrilled to see me. And frankly, a little glurge goes a long way with me.
Also, while I, like Abbot Tryphon at Ancient Faith Radio, do hope that our afterlife will include our beloved animals, that “Rainbow Bridge” thing seems a bit too New Age-y for my Eastern Christian sensibilities. What I’m trying to say is, stop sending me “Rainbow Bridge” poems, pictures, songs, YouTube videos, etc. Please!
And finally, the one thing that’s ALWAYS appropriate to say to someone who’s grieving for their pet (or anyone else):
- “I’m sorry!”
Yes, just a simple expression of sympathy that’s never out of line and always appreciated!
Look, I get it – not everyone has pets, so not everyone understands how a person can grieve over “just a pet.” But if you care about that person, you can express sympathy for them, even if you don’t understand their feelings, right? So just follow the lead of the Doctor, and you’ll do fine!
That’s your Friday Five, everyone! Monday I’ll be back with a weigh-in, and maybe some more bike stuff. Meantime, have a great weekend!
2 thoughts on “Friday Five: Four things NOT to say when someone’s pet dies, and one thing you should ALWAYS say!”
When you have lived with a pet for no matter how long, they are a part of your life, and they make a difference in your life. A lot of love goes into the care of a pet, no matter how long they’ve been in your life. We have lost many pets during our 62 years of marriage, and each one caused tears as we celebrated their lives. Each one is unique and always loving. You are so fortunate to have had this member of your family. Celebrate.
Thanks so much, Aunt Lucie! That’s so true! 🙂