How did I deal with my pet’s grief | Fernanda

On an ordinary day after school, after playing basketball, I received the great future love of my family, at night. At the age of 18. My father went to pick me up and when I opened the car door, she was there in a cardboard box, agitated and fluttering with her big eyes of Jabuticaba.

Lily was a playful little dog full of personality who didn’t let everyone touch her. At first it had to be conquered and only then could you be worthy of your love. A love made her wait for us at the door every day, when we arrived, she was weeping with joy and looking for something everywhere–usually shoes she would give us as a gift. Boundless love outweighs any judgment. For her, there were no good or bad days, there were days by our side as if they were the best days of her life.

Years passed, age came however, some restrictions were turning our night into this sensitive, calm and 100% dependable being. At the height of her 17-year-old we bought her a stroller so she could get around better. There were days when she simply stopped, and others when her will to live was stronger than anything, and she used all her energy to keep walking.

Recently, namely on 01/05/2022, it was time to let Leela go, to a place we don’t know exactly where or how it is, but we have absolute faith in being a better place.

I have never heard or talked about the pain of mourning an animal, and I think this topic is rarely discussed among people, perhaps because it is too painful or because it is not appreciated. The pain I’ve been in for the past few days has been greater than I could have ever imagined.

By sharing a little of what I was experiencing on my Instagram profile @escuta.ela, I realized that this pain is familiar to many people and so I tried to delve deeper into the topic. When researching, I came across the term “multi-species family”, which speaks of the concept of a family as a group of people or non-persons, related by passion or blood. If we understand that the family can transcend the concept of species, then grief can also transcend the relationship between man and man.

The sadness of losing an object that lives with us daily or who we have as great an emotional bond as anyone else should be validated and appreciated, because it can make a major intrusion into people’s lives. In addition to the physical loss, there is also the emotional loss, companionship and friendship with the animal that can play a very important role in the life of its owner. These bonds of humans are usually associated with humans, but we say, for example, that a dog is man’s best friend, it’s not in vain.

In my case, I lost a puppy who lived, almost 18, all she could have lived and had her last breath my hand was on her chest, right there, present. There are cases of sudden mourning, due to unexpected accidents or illnesses, as well as mourning for loss, when a young animal is lost and never found again.

Each pain is unique, so it is not possible to estimate the duration or formula of treatment. The most I have heard is that one day this pain will become a happy longing, but the lack of it will never end. I still don’t know the outcome of this story, but I decided to write about what I’m experiencing right now as a way of welcoming anyone else who is going through or has gone through something similar.

Today I still have another dog, Anna, and two cats, Sushi and Shuyu. With the loss of Lila, every gesture and every moment I had with these other pets of mine became even more special and full of presence. Life is limited and we have to know it with love, patience and especially responsibility. When we make a decision to welcome an animal into our home, we give it a chance to love us deeply, and the least we have to give it is the same affection and care in return until the end of their short life.

The sadness is there, it’s real and it hurts intensely, but like everything in life, it passes. I wouldn’t trade those 17 years full of memories with her to avoid the pain I feel today. It was worth living next to you, my dear, at night.

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