“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened” ▬Anatole France
What is it about our pets that makes us love them so fiercely? Why do they leave us with a hole in our hearts and unspeakable grief when they die?
Perhaps it’s because we are their mothers and fathers and love them like our children. Perhaps it’s because the relationship between man and dog, cat or bird is unique. Their wants never change and are easy to fulfill. They depend on us to love, feed, care for, and protect them. The relationship with our human children is complex. They become independent, need us in a different way, and leave us.
There is an intimacy we share with our pets. They have the uncanny ability to sense our essence. They love of us without constraint. No matter what is happening to us or what we do, their presence encourages us to do better, feel better, be better —they’re just happy we are here.
Pets are placed on this earth to show us joy, loyalty, how to love unconditionally, without judgement or criticism. They never disappoint or tire of us, and teach us to appreciate the simple things in life.
When we lose a pet, grief is physical and emotional. Gone is the love, warmth, comfort, friendship, and all the rituals we shared—walking, feeding, feeling the warmth of a soft body sleeping next to you, talking to them. We mourn the wagging tail, or the gentle rub against our legs that greeted us each time we entered a room. These interactions, that happen a thousands times, leave us with an emptiness that pierces our heart, and leaves us broken open. It can hurt just as much as the loss of a family member or friend, sometimes more.
These noble, compassionate creatures are put on this earth because we need them like the air we breathe. They are one of the most precious gifts bestowed on us. To anyone who has lost a pet, bless you for your tender loving care. Bless them for making your life whole.
“Pets are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
A link to shed light on the grieving process.
http://www.petlosshelp.org/ Common questions about pet loss.