Author Topic: Mourning Etiquette-Pets  (Read 5331 times)

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Black Delphinium

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Mourning Etiquette-Pets
« on: March 01, 2009, 04:00:14 PM »
Mourning is a deeply personal and subjective thing. Empathy and understanding are the best ways to support a friend or family member during their mourning.

Take your cues from the person who lost their pet. Listen when they feel like talking. Share stories and pictures from happier times if they wish to.


But, above all, never try to replace what they have lost, unless you have their complete consent. Only the person who has lost a pet has the right to decide when they are ready for a new pet, or if they will ever be ready.


 
« Last Edit: March 03, 2009, 08:59:26 PM by Black Delphinium »
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Elpie

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Re: Mourning Etiquette-Pets
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2009, 01:02:33 PM »
Also, it is rarely appreciated to hear, "I know EXACTLY how you feel" in any mourning situation, and/or listen to other tales of grief. Grief can be a very selfish emotion, so show your support the way you wished others had- offer to listen, cry with them, etc.

I would add that humor is usually not forbidden, except perhaps in the very early stages (dissent is welcome on this, as it is something I'm trying to figure out). Recalling how Fluffy's tounge would hang out of the side of his mouth when sleeping can be very appreciated.

MrsJWine

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Re: Mourning Etiquette-Pets
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2009, 01:08:05 PM »
Some people think of animals as being on a par with humans; some people don't.  If you fall into the latter group, now is NOT the time to take a stand on your view of animals as "just animals".  No matter how silly you think it is that your friend thinks of his dog as a person with a soul, do not utter the words, "Well, at least it was just a dog and not your dad/aunt/kid/grandma."

In fact, "at least" should never be the start of a sentence to someone in mourning.  There is no "at least".  It's a horrible situation no matter how many "at leasts" you utter.


I have a blog.  I hate that word.


Utah

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Re: Mourning Etiquette-Pets
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2009, 11:50:29 AM »
Don't inquire or make comments re: rather the bereaved will/should/shouldn't get another pet right away, unless your opinion is asked.  Everyone grieves differently and there's no universal right or wrong time to get a new pet, if ever.

sparksals

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Re: Mourning Etiquette-Pets
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2009, 11:52:40 AM »
Also, it is rarely appreciated to hear, "I know EXACTLY how you feel" in any mourning situation, and/or listen to other tales of grief. Grief can be a very selfish emotion, so show your support the way you wished others had- offer to listen, cry with them, etc.

I would add that humor is usually not forbidden, except perhaps in the very early stages (dissent is welcome on this, as it is something I'm trying to figure out). Recalling how Fluffy's tounge would hang out of the side of his mouth when sleeping can be very appreciated.

For me, it WOULD be helpful for someone to say they know how I feel.  I don't think it's as cut and dry as you say.  If one has experienced a similar loss, then I would be willing to hear their story so that I would know that someone relates to my feelings.  It's the acknowledgement, the validation of the feelings that is important to me.

demarco

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Re: Mourning Etiquette-Pets
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2009, 01:44:23 PM »

 It's the acknowledgement, the validation of the feelings that is important to me.

ITA.  It would be comforting to me if someone told me about their loss of a pet as a means of letting me know they've been there and they understand my grief. 

wolfie

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Re: Mourning Etiquette-Pets
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2009, 02:12:08 PM »
I understand where the PP was coming from. I like hearing \"I know how you feel... when I lost fluffy..\" and having them share their grief with me. But what I think the PP was referring to was the one -upper. The one who tries to show their grief was so much worse then yours - or who isn\'t trying to comfort but to grandstand about their own experiance.

Black Delphinium

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Re: Mourning Etiquette-Pets
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2009, 04:39:15 PM »
I think that there is a difference between saying "I know exactly how you feel. When we had to put Ebony down..."

and saying "Putting Ebony down was one of the hardest things we ever had to do. I understand and I'm so sorry."


I agree. There is a big difference between "I know" and "I understand"
When angels go bad, they go worse than anyone. Remember, Lucifer was an angel. ~The Marquis De Carabas

JoieGirl7

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Re: Mourning Etiquette-Pets
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2009, 08:38:33 PM »
Mourning a pet is like mourning any other life that was meaningful to a person.

I respectfully disagree with that statement.
 
When a person is in mourning for whatever reason is not a time to debate it and anyone going through a mourning process of any kind should be given compassion and respect for their beliefs and the process.  But, this sentence is not something I can agree with.
 
Not all mourning is the same.
 
And while when a human dies one is obligated to send a card, this obligation does not exist when pets die although it is thoughtful.
 
I don't mean any disrespect to pets, but I think there are better ways to say this.

Black Delphinium

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Re: Mourning Etiquette-Pets
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2009, 08:41:57 PM »
Mourning a pet is like mourning any other life that was meaningful to a person.

I respectfully disagree with that statement.
 
When a person is in mourning for whatever reason is not a time to debate it and anyone going through a mourning process of any kind should be given compassion and respect for their beliefs and the process.  But, this sentence is not something I can agree with.
 
Not all mourning is the same.
 
And while when a human dies one is obligated to send a card, this obligation does not exist when pets die although it is thoughtful.
 
I don't mean any disrespect to pets, but I think there are better ways to say this.
I meant it from the perspective of the person who is mourning.
And yes, not all mourning is the same, but it isn't something that anyone but the person who is grieving can quantify.
When angels go bad, they go worse than anyone. Remember, Lucifer was an angel. ~The Marquis De Carabas

JoieGirl7

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Re: Mourning Etiquette-Pets
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2009, 08:48:11 PM »
Mourning a pet is like mourning any other life that was meaningful to a person.

I respectfully disagree with that statement.
 
When a person is in mourning for whatever reason is not a time to debate it and anyone going through a mourning process of any kind should be given compassion and respect for their beliefs and the process.  But, this sentence is not something I can agree with.
 
Not all mourning is the same.
 
And while when a human dies one is obligated to send a card, this obligation does not exist when pets die although it is thoughtful.
 
I don't mean any disrespect to pets, but I think there are better ways to say this.
I meant it from the perspective of the person who is mourning.
And yes, not all mourning is the same, but it isn't something that anyone but the person who is grieving can quantify.

While I am saying "they are not the same" obviously saying to someone mourning a pet "why are you so upset, it was only a lizard?" would be viciously rude.

I think I get what you are getting at, I just think there might be a better way to say it.  The death of a human has an impact in society that makes the process fundamentally different from that of an animal.  I don't think that needs to be said either, maybe just skirt the issue since the whole point is to offer compassion.
 




Black Delphinium

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Re: Mourning Etiquette-Pets
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2009, 08:56:48 PM »
I modified the OP, is this a bit better?
When angels go bad, they go worse than anyone. Remember, Lucifer was an angel. ~The Marquis De Carabas

JoieGirl7

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Re: Mourning Etiquette-Pets
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2009, 09:28:39 PM »
I modified the OP, is this a bit better?

I think it is!  Very good job!  :D

sparksals

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Re: Mourning Etiquette-Pets
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2009, 10:03:48 AM »
I understand where the PP was coming from. I like hearing \"I know how you feel... when I lost fluffy..\" and having them share their grief with me. But what I think the PP was referring to was the one -upper. The one who tries to show their grief was so much worse then yours - or who isn\'t trying to comfort but to grandstand about their own experiance.

Right you are about that.  The one-uppers don't have any good intentions and it's sad there are people like that when someone is mourning.

sparksals

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Re: Mourning Etiquette-Pets
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2009, 10:07:31 AM »
I think that there is a difference between saying "I know exactly how you feel. When we had to put Ebony down..."

and saying "Putting Ebony down was one of the hardest things we ever had to do. I understand and I'm so sorry."



Hmmm ... interesting.  What if the person DOES know how you feel because they have experienced putting down a beloved pet?  I would find comfort in that.  I wouldn't find comfort in someone saying they  know how I feel when they have not experienced the situation. 

For instance, my parents are still alive, but many of my friends have lost theirs.  I can empathize and say I'm so sorry for their loss, but I would never say "I know how you feel" because I don't.