Death is a touchy subject. Some are comfortable, others cringe outwardly. Pet cremation after an animal companion passes away is a part of someone’s grieving process. Though some mean well, saying the wrong thing can just make the whole situation more difficult.
When your friend is going through this difficult period, don’t say any of these:
- “When are you getting another one?”
Your friend’s just lost a companion they’ve probably had all their life. Don’t ask about potential replacements. That will just result in them getting angry at you. Don’t show them any funny animal videos, either. It might just add to the sadness they already feel.
- “They didn’t suffer”
The pet’s owner knows differently. You mean well, but this isn’t the right thing to say. Your friend’s cat/dog/bird was probably suffering from sickness or complications from old age. Your friend had to live through that difficult time, and even more so when they had to put their pet down.
- “It’s been a while, hasn’t it?”
Everyone grieves differently. After the pet cremation, everything’s not going to be fine and dandy like it used to be. Let your friend mourn in their own time. Saying it’s been some time since their pet has passed is essentially a slap in the face.
- “You’ll feel better soon.”
Don’t say this to anyone after a pet (the same as a family member) has passed away. Don’t tell your friend how they should feel. Just be there for them and listen.
When your pet has passed away, don’t do these:
- Get another pet straight away
This isn’t fair on you, your family, or the pet you adopt. Mentally, you must be in a better place to take on the responsibility of caring for an animal again. You can’t do this when you’re still in mourning.
- Keep your sadness bottled in
Keeping everything inside doesn’t do you any favours. You’ve just lost a loved one. Your companion since you were small. The pet you owned was most likely with you for all its natural life.
It’s okay to feel sadness, anger, rage and everything in between. These are normal emotions anyone feels after losing someone close to them.
- Lash out
Speak to your family, a trusted friend, or a counsellor about your feelings, someone who understands. It’s a healthy way to deal with the process and prevents you from lashing out in anger. When you do this, you might feel better for a second…before understanding what you just did and feel regret.
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