Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Grief Is Not A Competition

As of late, I've been seeing a lot of pet parents repost articles about various studies that have concluded that the grief over a pet is the same as a loved one. By "loved one," they're referring to humans. In certain articles, the reference to "loved ones" are human kids. I've skimmed over a few of these articles. I've read the comments. I have mixed feelings about these studies and articles because of one very big reason...

Grief. Is. Not. A. Competition.

In all of my adulthood, I have witnessed countless people grieve over dogs, cats, human kids, parents, friends, fur-nieces and fur-nephews, etc.

Since moving into our home in 2012, Lisa and I have lost 3 furry kids and over a dozen human friends and family members. Amid all of that, we lost a kitten who we fostered as a hospice case. She died in my hands. 

Grief is grief.

When we talk about our 3 furry kids who we laid to rest many years ago, we still cry. When I talk about the family and friends we've lost, we cry just as hard.

How can you possibly rate grief? 

Should there even be studies about the level of grieving for humans versus furry kids?

I will admit, I'm grateful that pet parents are being recognized as Moms and Dads. 

Lisa and I do not have any human children. 

Our furry kids are our world. They're our kids. We are real Moms. 

But, on the flip side, these studies are just causing a bunch of useless bickering. 

Parents of human kids are blasting that "pets" are replaceable. Human kids are not. 

Parents of furry kids are trying to fight back.

Parents of human kids are accusing pet parents of being "shallow millennials."

Parents of furry kids are arguing that not everyone wants or can have human kids. So when they make a decision to have furry kids, that shouldn't be criticized.

The battle goes on and on and on and on...

This is where I take a step back.

And exhale.

Have we really gotten to the point where we have to compete when it comes to grief?

Do we need to justify the grieving process whether it be a human kid, a human loved one or furry kid or furry relative?

Losing a loved one, whether human or furry, is devastating all the way around.

There is no study in this world that could possibly measure the level of grief because everyone grieves differently. 

This is one area that needs to be left alone.

Let it be what it is in its most simplest form. 


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