The Loss of a Pet: It Won’t Be the Same without You

June 2, 2019
Sometimes the loss of a pet is more painful than losing a human because, in the case of the pet, you were not pretending to love it. -Amy Sedaris-

Having a pet is a great experience but then we’re always aware, to a greater or lesser extent, that our beautiful friends will die someday. So, the loss of a pet is as much of a sad experience as it is joyful having one. We mourn and we cry and we treasure their memories and we say to our loyal friends who can no longer hear us “it won’t be the same without you.”

Very few of us are prepared for the loss of a pet or any other loved one, even though millions of us affirm that death is the natural end of the life cycle. We’re always ready to enjoy other wonders of nature such as the air, the trees, the beauty of a newborn, and an amazing sunset.

Nevertheless, how can we ever prepare ourselves to lose a pet that we love so much — knowing that we may never ever see it, or ever hear it or ever enjoy its company again?

A bitter pill

The loss of a pet is one of the hardest pills to swallow and it’s even worse if they’ve died from an illness — especially while we’ve been watching them every day, being consumed by it. How it broke our hearts.

So, one of the best ways to deal with the pain of losing our beloved pet is to remember the good times. That is, to feel grateful for everything that beautiful animal gave us and did for us. With that in mind, we’ve tried to capture the feelings of the many people who are either currently mourning the loss of their pet or those, like us, who’ve gone through this painful experience in the past.

The loss of a pet

A man hugging a dog.

Letter to the dog friend I’m about to lose

Dear Best Friend,

I look at you and I can’t stop tearing up. I can’t help it, but I still smile. Yet I have a strange mixture of feelings inside of me that keeps me from being able to sleep at night. I used to love watching you sleep. In fact, I still do — only now, with the pain of knowing that, perhaps… you won’t wake up again.

I try to think about all of our good times together. The memories of when I brought you home for the first time. How thunder frightened you and so you hid between my legs. You were so shy, vulnerable, and needy. What was there not to love and feel the need to protect?

You were my loyal friend every day of every month; every month of every year. You never made me feel insecure about leaving me for someone else. You were always by my side — giving me your undivided attention and your affection when I needed it.

When I look at you and realize how weakened and consumed you are by this awful illness that’s taking you away from me, I try to create a maze of beautiful memories in my mind. It helps me value your friendship. I’m so grateful to have had the chance to get to know you. I miss you already, even though you haven’t entirely left me yet.

Life without you

So, I truly don’t know what my life will be like without you — all I know is that it won’t be the same. I know you’re worried about me and would like to see me happy. You’re so weak at this moment and yet you’re still trying to make me laugh. Sometimes you even pretend to want to play just to try to connect with me and see me happy. I know you don’t want me to be sad but I don’t like to see you like this either.

A person holding a cat.

So, I just want to tell you not to worry about me. I’m fine, I’ll be fine. It’s just that it’ll never be the same without you. I just want you to know that you’ll be alright; I’ll keep you comfortable on your last days here with me. I just want you to know that I’m doing everything I can for you. That I’m taking care of you as you deserve…

I look at you, and as I’m watching you I try to find in your eyes the answer to what our vet asked me about. They say that you’re in a lot of pain, that it’s better to put an end to it, but I can’t bear the idea of losing you. I can’t stop thinking that perhaps your illness will just go away and you’ll recover.

What should I do?

Yes, I know that your disease is eating you up, consuming you. I know there’s no cure for it, at least that’s what our vet says, but what if the miracles I’ve heard of are real? What if I decide to put an end to your life when there’s still a chance? And, what if I make a mistake and lose what I love the most? Furthermore, what if I’m making a rushed decision? However, what if I don’t do it, and I extend your pain and torture you further?

How I wish you could speak, my dear friend. How I wish you could tell me what you want for yourself in this situation. To help me make this difficult and painful decision. It’s one of the reasons why I continue to search for answers in your eyes.

Thinking how it won’t be the same without you and trying to find the answer I need to makes this most painful decision ever. In reality, I know it deep inside, but I just don’t want to give you up just yet. I don’t want to lose you. I just can’t do it.

It won’t be the same without you

Whatever happens. Wherever you go. Wherever I am. You’ve been a part of my life for so long. You’re my family, my friend, and although it won’t be the same without you, I’ll still try to be happy. Just like you’ve always wanted me to be.

Goodbye, my dear friend, thank you for everything. Don’t forget that you’ll always live in my heart because our love and friendship are forever.

Sincerely,

Virginia