Losing a pet is a tragic moment for anyone. People often love their pets as family members, and losing them feels like a similar loss. But there are often individuals who can’t understand or value such a relationship. If you don’t want to be that person, read below for some of the worst things to say to someone who just lost their pet:
1. “Don’t mourn, buy another one”
Never, ever say this. Pets are not objects that can be replaced like a sofa or table. For most people, pets are like family members. Could you get another father after you lose your own or another sister? A pet burial means losing all the love, bonds, and memories one shared with them. They can never be replaced.
2. “I can feel the pain of your loss”
You might think you are being compassionate and kind by saying it, after all, everyone needs people who understand them when they are grieving, right? However, not everyone grieves the same. Maybe you have lost a pet of your own and actually understand them. But by saying “I know how you feel”, you make it about yourself. Instead of saying this, ask them how they are feeling.
3. “Don’t be sad, move on”
While the previous point talked about the perils of trying to be compassionate, this one explains the consequences of being uninterested. It’s possible you truly might not understand why a person is so sad after losing a pet and why they might want to have a proper cremation and memorial for it, and it is okay to feel that way. But it is never okay to say this aloud to a grieving person. Sometimes, silence is golden. If you can’t understand why a person is mourning the death of an animal, just stay silent.
4. “It was just an animal!”
We are moving from uninterested to simply mean. To say “it was just an animal” or “just a dog” or any other animal is the worst possible way to hurt somebody’s feelings. For you, it might have been just an animal. For them, it was a friend, companion, or family member. Their species has nothing to do with the emotions somebody shared with them. They didn’t throw their pet away with the rubbish, they went to the trouble of a proper cremation and the least you can do is respect what their pet meant to them.
5. “Well, they don’t live long”
Nihilism and the fragility of life – these are great topics to have a philosophical debate on some beautiful evening, a friend mourning over the death of his/her pet is really the worst person to discuss it with. Yes, animals don’t live long compared to people. But knowing that doesn’t make death any easier. When you hear somebody has had to cremate a dog, show empathy to their departure instead of commenting on their lifespan.
These were some of the worst things people could say to those mourning the loss of their pets, and with luck you’ll never hear them said to you. If you do lose a pet and are looking for a company to take care of the cremation and provide memorial options, you can rely on Pets at Rest.