It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted on the forum. I’m still trying to deal with lossing my dog Darcy. 
I have a question. I’ve had all grandparents pass, I’ve had both parents pass, aunts and uncles pass. I’ve never felt this upset. I’m feeling guilty about this. Is this common, to be more upset for a pet compared to family?

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So sorry for the loss of your fur baby Darcy. i believe is the connection or the bond that we have with these beautiful animals is unique just like out of this world
Elethia C&C
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The loss of my cat "Marmalade" was and remains the single most painful loss in my life. He was my "Spirit Animal." People post here on the forum all the time that they feel the same way that we do. The truth is our pets in many ways are more advanced then human's when it comes to providing unconditional, pure love.

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I'm pretty hard when it comes to humans dying but with pets I'm a mess! I just need to read someone else's story and I'm choking with tears. 
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I feel the exact same way. My mother passed away unexpectedly in August of 2019 and my Emma passed away on May 31, 2020 and I can say, without a doubt, that the grief I feel for the loss of my dog is far worse than the grief I felt for the loss of my mother. At first, I felt so guilty for that, but as I've read posts on here, I've come to see that lots of people feel the same way, so you're not alone. I have 2 thoughts on why. First, a pet's love is unconditional. They are so pure and expect so little in return. They truly give all of themselves to us, and it is our job to take care of them. They are completely dependent on us. I think that's why we all end up feeling so guilty after they pass, no matter what the circumstances are. Pets often don't get in a say in the matter, we choose for them. Human relationships are so much more complex and they often aren't as dependent on us as pets are. Second, our pets are ingrained in our everyday lives. We have routines with them and we are accustomed to them being there all the time, day in and day out. When we lose them, the loss is so prevalent because of constant reminders.of their life with us everywhere around us. Humans, at least in the case non-immediate family members, often don't live with us, they often aren't completely dependent on us and we can manage to distance ourselves from their death. My mother lived several states away, so although I grieved her loss, I wasn't constantly reminded of her every time I walked into every room in the house. 

At least that's my take on it. Maybe there's something else I'm not thinking of, but those are the thoughts I've been having since Emma passed.
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Thank you for everybody’s story and understanding. I’m sorry for everybody’s losses. This is definitely the hardest thing I’ve dealt with. I’m going on 4 weeks since she’s been gone. I’m haven’t been sleeping so good. 

One thing that’s been hard on me is, Darcy was a golden retriever lab mix. So she very much had that “velcro” dog personality. She would almost always follow me around. Even if I was just getting a load of laundry or useing the bathroom. If we were out of town seeing my brother it was 100% never left my side. When she was young it drove me crazy but I learned it was her way of showing how she felt. It was funny, She would walk into walls because she was looking at me. 

i haven’t been able to go to our park. We spent so many hours there and I can’t imagine her not being there chasing the ducks. One day I’ll go there. 

I knew she was getting older and time was running out. But I never thought about how hard this would be and how quiet it would be in the house. She’s in my thoughts every minute of every day. Her toy basket, food/water bowl, kennel and dog food are still in the same place. 

I would like to share something I read.

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of ones soul remaines unawakened” 

Anatole France 

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For me the loss was very equal with how much I grieved - but every loss and relationship is so different. I spent years being angry with my father for choosing to end his life when I was a kid, I don't think I properly grieved his death. I was greatly affected when my mother passed away from cancer almost 10 years ago, I cry sometimes. I have bipolar disorder and severe anxiety, and I could call her at any time. She would meet me at the drop of a dime to make sure I was okay. On her deathbed she made me promise I wouldn't follow in my father's footsteps. It's hard sometimes. I felt suicidal after my soulmate Beck died and his death has affected me the most.

I don't think you should ever feel guilt over how you grieve; you can't control it. Just go with it. I did feel bad that I cried more over the death of my cat Beck than my own mother, but then I had to consider certain things logically... I didn't see my mom everyday. I didn't take care of her like I do my cats. There is a lot more intimacy between a pet than a parent, or a sibling. I cant speak for loss of spouse or child, however, as I don't have either. But grief is grief. The love I have for my pets is as great as the love I have for my remaining family members. 
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of ones soul remains unawakened” ~ Anatole France
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Thanks for sharing Peach. Since my early 20s I’ve delt with depression. I take something for this. It does not affect me much if I’m taking something. I’m usually good Monday through Friday. Sometimes I’m a little blue. But I’ve always made myself wake up and go to work. Usually I’m better after a few hours. But Saturday and Sunday I can easily sleep away a afternoon. No matter how I was feeling I feed Darcy early each morning. Some days I would wake up excited about taking Darcy to a lake or dog park. I can wake up early if I have something to do. If it was a day were I slept, Darcy would make me get up. Now I don’t have that reason to make me get up early. I’ve only had 3 times in my life where it physically hurts being depressed. Darcy passing being one and probably the worst.

I’ve never been suicidal but my mom took her life. It was hard dealing with that situation. She passed February 1 2007 and I got Darcy March of the same year. So having a friend to care for really helped me.

I got Darcy after buying my first and only house. So I don’t know this house without her. I had her from age 26 to almost 40. Everywhere I look is a reminder of her. Her kennel is still in her room. Basket of toys are still in the living room and food/water bowls are still in the kitchen. I have a hard time after 13 years, that my life will never be the same.
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My heart goes out to you Luke. This is so hard. The grief I am feeling over the loss of my dog Joey is the same as I felt 11 years ago when I lost my husband. I think it is the day to day routine and the physical touch that makes it so difficult and different from family members.

I do know that although it took a long time the pain and grief diminished with my husband and I know it will with Joey also. It is so hard though.
I am doing grief counseling via phone for Joey with my former grief counselor for my husband and it helps so much. I would encourage you to seek Grief counseling. It really helped me. I did also speak to a pet grief counselor I saw in a you tube presentation. It really helped me to watch the really good videos on you tube about grieving a pet and finding resources.

I wish you the very best.

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My beautiful Sassy died April 2019 and I still break down from time to time when I think of her.  I never felt so much grief or sorrow for any person as I do for my little dog. I eventually got another dog but for months I couldn't even contemplate it because as crazy as it seems I actually felt I was being disloyal to the memory of Sassy.
I guess what I am saying us that your feelings are perfectly normal and you needn't feel guilty about grieving so much.
Good luck.
D a bryce
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Dear Luke, I know your pain so well and for me, the loss of my dog Ralphie who was almost 15, was indeed the most devastating loss of my life. I lost him 7 months ago and his beds, bowls, leash, etc are still all around me at home. I don't have the heart to remove them and sometimes I don't know if I ever will. I have not been able to connect with another dog...the grief never leaves me. I have gone through some horrendous losses in life and my husband was killed in the prime of his life 11 years ago. I thought that was bad but I realized that I was never prepared for the kind of pain I would suffer from losing my dog. I have come to the conclusion that I loved my dog more than anything else in this world. Many times I wish I could have gone with him that day. My life no longer has the joy it once had. I hope you can find peace.
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Luke_03 wrote:

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted on the forum. I’m still trying to deal with lossing my dog Darcy. 
I have a question. I’ve had all grandparents pass, I’ve had both parents pass, aunts and uncles pass. I’ve never felt this upset. I’m feeling guilty about this. Is this common, to be more upset for a pet compared to family?

I totally agree.I’ve had members of my own family pass and also very close friends but they do not even come close to the grief and pain i’m still suffering but from a personal point of view the only thing I feel guilty about is I’ve never shown my parents the love and affection I’ve given to my Coco.Don’t ask me why but I can easily show my feelings and emotions to an animal but not that much for a fellow human being.Hope the doesn’t sound horrible.

Love to all
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Hi Luke, like you, I have lost some close family and of course I was very upset. However, I lost Millie 2 wks ago today and I am absolutely devastated. Definitely finding her loss much harder to deal with. Maybe it is because for me, Millie was my shadow. No matter what, she was always there, no questions,  no explanations, no excuses. She was just there whatever and her loss is devastating. I think it is probably easier to rationalise the loss of a person, as that is what we expect. However, we tend not to think that our pets have shorter lives so when they are taken from us the reality is a big shock
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I have experience working with the dying. I know, cognitively, that just because we have the technology to do more doesn't mean we always should. We advocate for comfort measures. I know that you shouldn't run tests unless you plan on doing something with the information that you find. I know that you can keep running tests and invasive procedures but to what end. I know things like when people are dying their caloric needs are very different and that they do not starve to death and that feeding tubes etc can be very distressing to those with dementia without any added benefit. I know that people often wait to pass when their loved ones leave the room.

I know all this cognitively and yet when it came to my own beloved cat I lost my mind. My heart couldn't accept. I still struggle because I have a lot of unanswered questions.

I was listening to the radio this morning and a woman spoke about her own near death experiences and it really struck me: "We are a really mortality-denying, sickness-denying, trauma-denying culture. And it is very difficult to openly experience suffering. It makes people very uncomfortable. And yet we all suffer, we all grieve, we all get sick, we all have these traumatic events."


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I lost my grandmother 2 years before my Clifford died and her death was nothing compared to this loss. I cried for her and miss her but the loss of my Clifford broke me in ways I cannot describe. The bond we share with our beloved pet is like no connection we have with other human beings. Don't feel guilty just focus on grieving your beloved Darcy and take it day by day. 
Natalie R
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