Losing a pet is so much more painful than most people realize. It can even end in “broken heart syndrome.” Here’s how.
Do you have a pet you adore? I love seeing pictures and reading stories about the precious pets people have. If you haven’t read this story about a life-saving Pitbull, you have to! Such a sweetie.
The Agony of Losing a Pet
When a pet dies, the family who loved that fur baby is grief-stricken. Pets are family members. They are there when we wake up, and beside us when we go to sleep. They see us sick, happy, angry, sad, and they never pass judgment. Our pets see the truth of who we are and they love us in spite of ourselves.
Isn’t that what family is supposed to do? Be there in good and bad times, offering support and unconditional love? Some may say they don’t even get that kind of care from their human families.
That’s why Scientific American says we should take pet loss seriously.
The aching hearts of those who lose a pet are often lonely hearts. After her dog died, a woman suffered from a terrible condition called “broken heart syndrome.” SA explains, “It can happen when the response to grief is so severe the person exhibits symptoms that mimic a heart attack, including elevated hormone levels that can be 30 times greater than normal.”
Essentially, the author says when you’re in anguish after this kind of loss, you need to reach out and let people know how badly you’re hurting.
“We need to seek social support from people we know will understand and sympathize with our emotions and not judge us for them.”
I think as a society we can always do a better job of supporting each other.
Crossing the Rainbow Bridge
You were used to morning purring to wake you up and now it’s quiet. You and your good boy always went for a walk before heading to bed. Now the leash hangs still.
When you open the front door, no one runs to you. At night all you can think about is how long it been since you slept in a bed without a four-legged friend taking up all the space.
That’s why the rest of us should show up, be loving, supportive and continue to be so for as long as it takes. There is no timeline on grief.
“It is time we gave grieving pet owners the recognition, support and consideration they need. Yes, it is up to us to identify and address our emotional wounds when our pet dies, but the more validation we receive from those around us, the quicker and the more complete our psychological recovery will be.” – Scientific American
If you’ve lost a pet, I want you to know how sorry I am you’re in pain. Tell us about them in the comments. What made you love them so? Did they have a favorite toy or a sweet way of showing you their love?
Don’t hesitate to reach out to a therapist to help you get through.