Children have a hard time understanding death depending on how young they are. Some children do not see death as permanent. It takes time for them to fully comprehend that once something or someone dies they do not come back. Pets because of shorter life spans teach children the circle of life faster than a family death.
Children learn about death from a simple goldfish to the more painful loss of a dog or a cat. They are able to learn the nature of death and how to grieve. Pets teach children so many things and death is among one of the most important life lessons a pet can give a child.
The article, “Kids and Pets: A Winning Combination” by Diane Morrow-Kondos looks at kids and pets and what can be gained by having one. She states,
“This is a nice way to say children experience death through the loss of pets. Having a pet teaches children about the cycle of life from birth through death. Yes, it is heartbreaking to see your beloved pets die, but we learn that all creatures, including humans, eventually pass.”
From responsibility to learning empathy, the importance of animals in the lives of children is critical. Death is no less an important lesson in life. It breaks the heart because loss and love are so interwoven. Loving an animal and grieving an animal is essential to understanding life itself. Please also review our Pet Loss Grief Counseling Training program and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.
Grieving the loss of a pet is often considered non essential and can be disenfranchised. This leaves many grievers without recourse. They are left questioning their grief without any true support. The reality is the loss of a pet is a serious loss and needs to be validated and understood. Support for the loss of a pet is essential to anyone. Pets are family.
The article, “Grieving the Death of a Pet” by Chris Haws looks deeper at the nature of pet grief. He states,
“Like any grief counseling session, the participants are encouraged to talk openly about their feelings and express whatever emotion overwhelms them. Pet loss support groups are resolutely safe places … places where nobody is allowed to feel disenfranchised.”
It is important to accept pet loss grief as a normal grief equal to the loss of human companions. Pets for many are family. To dismiss the life of a pet or animal based on species is naive. It is wrong to assume that a connection between human and animal cannot exist. The bond is real and the love is equally real.
Pet Loss Grief Counseling Training can help prepare professionals to better aid individuals with the passing of a pet. Please review the program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.
Good article about the disenfranchised grief of pet loss. Noone should be shamed for grieving a pet. To some the loss of a pet is a huge thing to overcome. Love has no barriers and for our pets, many of them are like family
The article, “Don’t Shame Me For Grieving My Dog’s Death”, by Lindsay Holmes states,
“U want to cancel bc ur dog back home died? Haha.”
A few months after I moved to New York in 2013, I learned that my beloved childhood yorkie, Sapp, passed away. I was supposed to go on a date that night ― my first one ever since moving to the city ― and I felt like I just couldn’t handle it.”