If you’re reading this post I’m confident you have experienced and endured pain many times. I’m in one of those times myself this week and thought it might be therapeutic for me to write about it.
Pain has many faces with multiple levels resulting from a variety of causes. Our first thought when we think about pain is physical pain, but as common as it is, physical pain is not the only kind of pain or always the most hurtful.
In addition to physical pain, there is also emotional pain. And while there are other kinds of emotional pain, today I’m thinking about the emotional pain that accompanies grief. The basic definition of grief is “deep sorrow, especially caused by someone’s death.” I’m confident all of us have grieved the death of someone we loved and cared about.
The pain I am dealing with this week is not due to the passing of someone, but the death of our dog, Macy. In the same way that readers have grieved the loss of someone they love, most readers have also grieved the loss of a beloved pet.
A couple of quotes from an article I read Monday evening after Jan took her to the vet to be put to sleep helped me accept the deep pain I felt and the tears I shed. This observation was certainly true of Macy: “For many of us, a pet is not ‘just a dog’ or ‘just a cat,’ but rather a beloved member of our family, bringing companionship, fun, and joy to our lives.” And then the author described my response to our loss, “Most of us share an intense love and bond with our animal companions, so it’s natural to feel devastated by feelings of grief and sadness when a cherished pet dies.”
I didn’t need the advice of another writer, but appreciated the thought, “you should never feel guilty or ashamed about grieving for an animal friend.” A third writer’s insight is not especially encouraging, but may prove to be helpful: “The grieving process happens only gradually. It can’t be forced or hurried—and there is no “normal” timetable for grieving.”
This post may seem odd as the description of my blog is “Considering the Christian Life, the Bible, and the Church.” The death of a loved pet is not necessarily about the Bible or the Church; but it is part of the Christian life. I needed to write this and I hope you got something from it. Macy was a cherished part of our family the last 11 years and it hurts that she is gone.
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