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10 Things You Should Never Say to Someone Who’s Lost a Pet

For some people, losing a pet is like losing a beloved member of the family.  These people grieve deeply and are hurt when others don’t understand the depth of their grief.  If someone you know is grieving the loss of a four-legged loved one, please avoid the following 10 statements that, while well intentioned, may be seen as hurtful to the grief-stricken.

1.      At least it was only a pet.

2.      I’ve lost tons of pets in my life.  I don’t remember ever feeling grief like you feel.  Pets have shorter life spans than humans.  We know that. So, it is what it is.

3.      I know you’re upset, but rather than focus on what you’ve lost, I think you should focus on the bright side.  For example, it will be easier for you to plan overnight trips now that you don’t have to arrange for pet care.

4.      Now you can get nice shoes since you won’t get them all chewed up right away anymore!

5.      You should get another pet to replace __name of deceased pet__.

6.      You just need to get your mind off it.

7.      Suck it up.  You’re bringing everyone down.

8.      While you’re busy grieving, please remember that there are people who still need you because life goes on.  I miss our goofy girls’ nights out.  I’ll bet your husband is missing the fun and affection he’s used to from you.  When you’re crying, you can’t be to us what you’ve always been, what we need you to still be.  We’re still alive, and you’re still alive.  Don’t waste all this energy on the past.

9.      It’s hard for me to watch you go through this, and I know you need some alone time.  So, I think I’ll go home.  Call me when you’re ready to do lunch.

10.   I don’t get the grief that you feel.  Your grief seems kind of over-the-top.  Do you think you should speak with a counselor to help you deal with this more normally?

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