Author Topic: Mourning Etiquette-Pets  (Read 5287 times)

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sparksals

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Re: Mourning Etiquette-Pets
« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2009, 10:08:19 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."


I agree. There is a big difference between "I know" and "I understand"

Ahhhh .... lightbulb moment.  I didn't make that connection in the PP.

Black Delphinium

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Re: Mourning Etiquette-Pets
« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2009, 10:17:41 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."


I agree. There is a big difference between "I know" and "I understand"

Ahhhh .... lightbulb moment.  I didn't make that connection in the PP.
It's the basic idea that no person can ever really know how another person feels, because we all feel differently.
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sparksals

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Re: Mourning Etiquette-Pets
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2009, 12:36:34 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"

Ahhhh .... lightbulb moment.  I didn't make that connection in the PP.
It's the basic idea that no person can ever really know how another person feels, because we all feel differently.

That's true.... and you know there's gotta be a 'but'.... if one has experienced the same loss (be it parent, beloved iguana or whatever), I have always thought it's comforting when someone sayd 'I know how you feel' when they've experienced the same thing.  If they haven't, then I think they're just trying to be nice. 

wolfie

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Re: Mourning Etiquette-Pets
« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2009, 05:26:56 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.\"



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. 

If the person does know how you feel I still think they should say \"I understand and this is why.\" It\'s short and sweet and puts the ball in their court over whether they want to discuss that with you. Sometimes people want to hear about others experiences, sometimes they don\'t. I think it\'s best to allow the person grieving to decide if they want to hear it.

I think oyu are right, but this is where I feel the thought counts. I can tell if someone is trying to be nice and comfort and share grief when someone says \"I know how you feel\" or if they are trying to be one-uppy or co-opt your grief when they say \"I know how you feel\". It\'s all in the tone of voice and expression on the face.

Also to the PP who said that a pet dying is not as meaningful as a human dying that is your opinion. My dog dying isn\'t meaningful to you, and your second cousin dying isn\'t meaningful to me. But that doesn\'t mean your grief is worth more then my grief. For some people their pets are like their children - especially if they wanted them and couldn\'t because of various reasons. They fulfilled those needs with pets - and to tell them their grief isn\'t meaningful or as real is mean.

wolfie

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Re: Mourning Etiquette-Pets
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2009, 05:40:41 PM »
Also to the PP who said that a pet dying is not as meaningful as a human dying that is your opinion. My dog dying isn\\\'t meaningful to you, and your second cousin dying isn\\\'t meaningful to me. But that doesn\\\'t mean your grief is worth more then my grief. For some people their pets are like their children - especially if they wanted them and couldn\\\'t because of various reasons. They fulfilled those needs with pets - and to tell them their grief isn\\\'t meaningful or as real is mean.

I do believe that what that poster was referring to was the social impact of the death of a human as opposed to an animal. When a human dies, we offer condolenses, send cards and flowers, attend funerals, etc... We don\'t do those things for animals.

The poster said they specifically disagreed with the statement that mourning a pet was like mourning any other life that was meaningful to the other person. I don\'t know how to cut and paste quotes but that is the feeling I got from that post - that they felt that mourning a pet could not be as meaningful as mourning a human.

But you are right about the social impact at this time. Some things are changing - I am not sure if there ever will be widespread pet funerals but there are newspapers that do pet obituaries.

JoieGirl7

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Re: Mourning Etiquette-Pets
« Reply #20 on: March 04, 2009, 08:10:36 PM »
The statement I disagreed with was this:
Mourning a pet is like mourning any other life that was meaningful to a person.
 
There are fundamental differences between an animal dying and a pet dying.  How they are different doesn't matter quite so much as that they are different and that is why I objected to the statement.

The statement seemed to serve the purpose of characterizing mourning the death of a pet as on par with mourning the death of a human being for the purpose of showing why those grieving the death of a pet should be offered compassion in much the same way as if the death were of a human being.  I don't think its necessary to go there.
 
It is debatable and the debate does not need to be brought into it.   The "how" is not something that is relevant to the forum.

Grief is not a competition.  Grief is grief.  Grief should be respected, period.  Then, it doesn't matter what my opinion is or what your opinion is or anyone else for that matter.

The point is that one should give compassion and comfort to someone who is grieving regardless of the source of the grief.

sparksals

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Re: Mourning Etiquette-Pets
« Reply #21 on: March 05, 2009, 04:06:41 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.\"



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. 

If the person does know how you feel I still think they should say \"I understand and this is why.\" It\'s short and sweet and puts the ball in their court over whether they want to discuss that with you. Sometimes people want to hear about others experiences, sometimes they don\'t. I think it\'s best to allow the person grieving to decide if they want to hear it.

I think oyu are right, but this is where I feel the thought counts. I can tell if someone is trying to be nice and comfort and share grief when someone says \"I know how you feel\" or if they are trying to be one-uppy or co-opt your grief when they say \"I know how you feel\". It\'s all in the tone of voice and expression on the face.

Also to the PP who said that a pet dying is not as meaningful as a human dying that is your opinion. My dog dying isn\'t meaningful to you, and your second cousin dying isn\'t meaningful to me. But that doesn\'t mean your grief is worth more then my grief. For some people their pets are like their children - especially if they wanted them and couldn\'t because of various reasons. They fulfilled those needs with pets - and to tell them their grief isn\'t meaningful or as real is mean.

I completely agree - to me it's comforting and I can tell if it's genuine or a oneupper. 

I also agree about the death of a pet being devastating for some people.  Our dog IS our kid.  He IS part of the family and it is heartbreaking to lose a beloved pet. 

Nannerdoman

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Re: Mourning Etiquette-Pets
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2009, 05:52:16 PM »
The loss of a pet should be treated with the same respect as any other bereavement (i.e., loss of a human loved one).  Treating the loss respectfully is a way of treating the bereaved person respectfully.
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reddevil

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Re: Mourning Etiquette-Pets
« Reply #23 on: March 24, 2009, 05:00:29 PM »
Watch out for the Rainbow Bridge poem and related stuff.  Not everyone thinks that's a good idea, and so you should not pressure them too much into reading it or talking about it while they are grieving. 

bailey14

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Re: Mourning Etiquette-Pets
« Reply #24 on: March 02, 2010, 04:57:45 PM »
Also to the PP who said that a pet dying is not as meaningful as a human dying that is your opinion. My dog dying isn\'t meaningful to you, and your second cousin dying isn\'t meaningful to me. But that doesn\'t mean your grief is worth more then my grief. For some people their pets are like their children - especially if they wanted them and couldn\'t because of various reasons. They fulfilled those needs with pets - and to tell them their grief isn\'t meaningful or as real is mean.

I do believe that what that poster was referring to was the social impact of the death of a human as opposed to an animal. When a human dies, we offer condolenses, send cards and flowers, attend funerals, etc... We don't do those things for animals.

We don't? I have received condolence cards after the death of each one of my dogs, I have received plants and flowers, and I have had memorial services for my dogs.