If someone was to lose a family member or a close friend, it can be seen as something that will have a bigger impact on them than if they were to lose a pet. Based on this, if they were to experience life differently it could be said that something isn’t right.
Thus, if one was to lose a pet and it doesn’t have an effect on their life or if it doesn’t affect them as much as the loss of a loved one, it could be said that they are having a ‘normal’ reaction. This will then allow them to feel as though there is nothing wrong with them and the people around them may also have the same outlook.
However, when one doesn’t react in this way and the loss of a pet overwhelms them, they could end up wondering what is taking place. And if they were to let other people know what is taking place, they might also have the same response.
If one was to reflect on how they feel, they could find that the last time they felt this was when someone they were close to passed on. So even though they haven’t lost a fellow human being, their inner experience is the same.
One could see themselves as someone that is highly emotional and they could then be used to embracing both sides of the emotional spectrum. As a result of this, the people around might be used to how they respond to life and there will then be no need for them to say anything.
A Different Experience
On the other hand, one may come to see that they haven’t felt this way before even when a friend or a family member passed on, for example. The experience of losing a pet will then be more intense than the experience of losing a fellow human being.
And while one could be someone that is highly emotional, there is also the chance that it is not this black and white. If one doesn’t usually experience much of an emotional reaction when it comes to loss, they could find it hard to under why they are experiencing life in this way.
It could also be a big shock to the people that they spend their time with, as this will be something that they haven’t seen before. They could end up telling them that they are overreacting, for instance.
The responses they get from others could end up making this time in their life even more challenging. The ideal will be for them to get the support that they need during this stressful period in their life.
Nevertheless, even though one could share how they feel with others, they could also keep their experience to themselves. One reason for this is that one could feel embarrassed about what is taking place within them.
What this will show is that while one will be experiencing loss; they will also be experiencing shame. This feeling that will make one want to hide how they feel and they may even want to withdraw from life.
One can then not just want to isolate themselves because of how they feel through losing a pet; they can also do this out of their need to stop themselves from feeling even worse. It is then not possible for them to be with their experience around others, as they will feel as though they have to wear a mask, so to speak.
Yet if one believed that their inner experience is normal, there would be no need for them to feel ashamed. There may then be times when they would need to cover up how they feel, but this wouldn’t always be the case.
A Closer Look
Although one can feel as though their response is not normal and other people can have the same outlook; it could be said that this has a lot to do with how loss is perceived in general. In today’s world, it can be normal for people to experience loss and then to carry on as if nothing has happened.
When this takes place, someone’s mind can disconnect from how the feel and the pain will stay in their body. This can take place when one doesn’t feel comfortable with their emotions and when they feel too ashamed to show how they feel.
Along with this, if one experiences loss and they are able to carry on as if nothing has happened, they can also be seen as being ‘strong’; whereas if they were to change their behaviour and to take the time to mourn the loss, they can end up being seen as ‘weak’. This is then similar to saying asking for help is a bad thing and suffering in silence is a good thing.
The healthy approach is for one to embrace how they feel and to allow themselves to cry out the pain that is within them. In order to do this, one needs to be strong enough to handle how they feel; as if they are unable to handle their emotions, it will be normal for them to deny how they feel.
The Loss of a Pet
If one loses a pet and they end up being overwhelmed with grief, there is going to be no reason for them to feel as though their reaction is abnormal. They could have been in a position where they were closer to the pet than they were to another human being or they may just have had a special connection with them.
Either way, they would have been a big part of their life and now this is no longer the case; the meaning of their life has changed. Their heart may feel broken and this will show how important they were to them.
This will be a time where it will be important for one to be kind to themselves and to go with how they feel. As if they were to deny what is taking place and to pretend that everything is fine, it will only cause them problems further down the line.
And if one doesn’t have enough support around them, they may need to reach out for this. This can be provided by a therapist or some kind of counsellor.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.