Feeling More Grief for Your Pet than when a Relative Dies is Normal

Having been a psychological counselor for more than a decade, my personal beliefs have been confirmed, through the self-disclosures of clients, that the death of a pet can be an extremely emotional experience. In my counseling sessions, I often hear verbalizations of feelings of embarrassment for crying over the death of their pet and guilt over experiencing more emotional pain over losing their companion animal than they did over the death of a human family member. The experience of feeling more intense grief when a pet dies than when a relative dies is very difficult to share with others. As a result, people attempt to downplay their own feelings of loss, and may experience what they perceive as friends and family trivializing the death of their family pet. Please give yourself permission to feel your feelings as they truly are!

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