The word ‘grief’ is such a simple word, but it is used for so many different sad events in our lives that it is sometimes a wholly inadequate description of what we are feeling. The loss of a greatly loved feline companion can be one such occasion.
It is said that sharing the pain of bereavement with a friend or relative often helps; but can we explain (or even admit) to such well-wishers how deeply we are affected by the loss of a cat? If they are not true cat lovers themselves can they really understand the depth of the racking pain which we are feeling? How can we admit that the loss of our cat is making us suffer even more than the loss of a certain friend or relative – for this can sometimes be the case.
Our grief is often deepened by heartrending feelings of guilt: ‘Could I have done something to save him/her?’, ‘If only I’d not left the gate open’, and all the other devastating self-blaming thoughts that rack our hearts.
The innocence of our pets, who rely entirely upon us for their wellbeing, increases our love for them – but it also adds to the pain we feel when we lose them.
Does anyone else truly understand the complexities of this special type of grief?
The Blue Cross and the Society for Companion Animal Studies provides a Pet Bereavement Support Service which, through trained volunteers, enables you to talk to someone who knows from experience how terribly distressing the loss of a pet can be.