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How to deal with the death of a pet?

How to deal with the death of a pet?

The phone rang, answered and a cry on the other end of the line worried me. A little voice began to speak softly and sobbing, saying: "She died! I thought I was sleeping, but after a while I found it strange and when I went to see I was dead ... She died sleeping ...", she told me in tears. her 17-year-old daughter. Little chap was this little candle, hardly walked, could not see anything, not even his nose worked. A few years ago he had given a lot of work to his fragile health, not to mention that when new it had not been easy either. He bit a lot of people, he barked uncontrollably, causing a lot of complaints at times. This lady lived a period of much sadness, little speech and nostalgia in the weeks that followed the episode.

The feeling is not in what or who was lost, but in how much that relationship had meant to those who are feeling

Uma another scene happened with two children who received the sad connection of the veterinarian of his two-year-old rabbit saying that unfortunately nothing else could do. Those heartbroken and inconsolable cries broke the heart of anyone listening to the children. They wondered why this had happened? Why did not God save the "little brother"? from them? Why was he born sick? But perhaps the hardest question was: Why does our heart hurt so much? One of them said I do not want to talk about it anymore, because I'm out of breath. And the other completed the sadness, when I spoke I think I will not be able to smile anymore. These children asked not to have any more animals until the heart healed. It took about three months to return to think about having another and even almost a year after the episode cry and get excited when they remember him.

Recently a famous personality and involved with causes animal defenders, posted on a social network his anguish and sadness when her long-lost little dog did not resist either. His reports made clear how much he tried and tried to save or prolong the life of that animal, but the finitude, certain to all living beings, imposed itself. He received a lot of support from his followers, words of comfort, prayers and many exchanges or outbursts of people who also reported the sadness of having lost their pets in those days, or even for some time, and identified with that sadness. > Is there a mourning for a pet?

These three stories of people of ages and stories so different make it clear the sadness that many people live when they lose their pets and this should not be new. But these stories also report that people not only look sad when their pets die, but they can also go into a grieving process.

But perhaps there are those who ask: is there a mourning for someone who loses a pet? Would not that be an exaggeration of people who confuse or treat their pets as people? I know that many people still think this way or even confuse the idea of ​​mourning, believing it to be exclusive to human losses and deaths. I've heard a few times, even from very educated people, that they did not understand "this drama" and that they felt evolved because they did not suffer from the losses of their pets, because they always knew they were just animals. It is true that there are perhaps exaggerated stories of relationships between pets and their owners, but this is not the case here today.

Understanding Mourning

When we stop someone from crying, feeling, or questioning life and death, we mess up their process so that we can one day follow forward more lightly

Mourning is a sentimental, emotional, and psychological reaction that occurs in response to a loss that is significant. That is, regardless of what or who was lost, being a person, a place, an object and a pet. The main point to consider is that the feeling is not in what or who was lost, but in how much that relationship had meant to those who are feeling. Mourning exists as a space of feeling to work out the major losses in our lives and must be lived in order to lead a healthier and more emotionally balanced life.

We live our daily lives and, over many years of life, many losses, many terms and so we can learn and experience our relationship with the idea of ​​finitude. However, most of these experiences do not have great emotional importance, they may even make us sad, but they tend to be more easily overcome, forgotten or changed, because there was no affective bond. Already, when there is a relationship with emotional significance, that is, that represents and motivate relevant feelings and experiences, that is where mourning dwells. If something or someone has an importance in your life, if it represents an identification, if it generates an emotion, or even suggests the idea of ​​completeness are these relationships that cause mourning.

Soon these people mentioned in the beginning, although so different , have in common their relationships with their pets that represented in their lives bond, affection, exchange, affection, care, conquest, partnership, overcoming, joy ... And just like so many other people with their sad stories of losses of their pets deserve to be understood and welcomed in their grieving processes. Well, do not cry or feel just for a bug, but for the bug! For the being that he represented in their lives and allowed them to feel and live emotions, sometimes lost or forgotten or even never felt or perceived by the person himself. These pets sometimes become a chance to experience experiences and learn more about their own existence.

What to do?

It is worth thinking that loves are not replaced, are kept and felt. At some point the pain of loss becomes a painful memory and finds a place in the memory to stay, becoming nostalgic.

And like any grieving process, there are no tips or techniques of what or how to do. Normally all that is tried to do by the mourning is denying it or not suffering it. We almost always hear, "Do not cry, do not be like this". Or, in the case of pets, it's even worse: "I'll give you another one, a more beautiful one!" And that's where the great anguish lives. When we stop someone from crying, from feeling, from questioning life and death, we hinder their process of elaboration so that one day we can move on more lightly. Do we propose to deny, fantasize or replace that lost love (in the concrete) with something else, as if we could find love at every corner?!

I never tell anyone what to do, because my psychoanalytic base understands that advice is intrusions into the truths of others. But in this case, if there is anything I can say about mourning is to let the person cry and feel the loss. If you know who goes through this, welcome and be available, but do not interfere with their truths. If you are going through this, I suggest you seek warmth in someone or in a place, to cry and to feel embraced, until your pain alleviates. Some rituals or religious habits seem to help in this relief, so why not? But it is worth emphasizing that one must take care of very intense or continuous rituals that prevent him from moving forward and are lamenting over the loss without actually helping to deal with it.

The time of each mourning and its intensity is very particular, it will depend of each story, its importance and meaning in the relationship and only deserves attention if it is preventing the living or disrupting new constructions. In these cases it is best to seek help from a professional.

It is worth thinking that loves are not replaced, are kept and senses. At some point the pain of loss becomes a painful memory and finds a place in the memory to stay, becoming nostalgia. And longing is only for what has done us good, it can be sad at times, but it reminds us that we smile at some point in life and that it was worth that moment.

Winnicott, a psychoanalyst once said, something roughly like this: Death is not the greatest sorrow or anguish of life, but death without having lived!


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