The way we grieve our losses is impacted by many factors including: our own unique coping style, , our history of previous losses, our support systems and, the way we view the loss. The way we grieve is also impacted by the kind of loss we have had, in other words who died and what is the nature of your relationship with that person.
There are some common aspects to each different kind of loss. The death of my mother affects me differently than the death of your mother affects you, because we are different people. But we have some similarities in common. We might both feel like orphans, particularly if we have no other parent. Or maybe we are both struggling with difficult relationships with our siblings, now that our parent has died.
It can be helpful to look at different kinds of losses and see some of their commonalities. This helps us normalize our experience and helps us better understand what we are going through.
When we lose a pet we lose part of our family. The loss of a pet is deep and has similar aspects as we have with other family members. There is a pining and a missing of our dear companion- and the loss is felt in our everyday life in so many ways.
Some individuals feel closer to their pets than they do to any human friend or relative. It is often a misunderstood or disenfranchised loss, because others don’t see it as legitimate.