01.22.13 Love

A Woman’s Best Friend: Grieving the Loss of a Pet

A Woman’s Best Friend: Grieving the Loss of a Pet

BY Amanda de Cadenet

My family is grieving the loss of our family dog, a French bulldog named Lizzie. She died suddenly from complications due to an aggressive cancer we never knew she had. We keep asking, How could we not have known she was so sick? We didn’t know because she didn’t ever show us she was anything but a happy, consistant watch dog and companion to my kids, myself and my husband.

If you know my family, you know Lizzie, she has been at all significant events in our lives for the last ten years. From being in the studio for the making of two Strokes albums, to staying by my side during the bed rest of my twin pregnancy, moving from New York to L.A., she ran through the middle of interviews on The Conversation when we filmed at my house and protected my kids should anyone approach them in the park.

conversation-lizzy-3

When people say that pets are a part of the family I know what they mean. I love my dog more than some people who I am supposed to be close to; she only ever loved, greeted, entertained, comforted me when I was sad and kept my loneliness at bay.

Is it usual to hear her barking though shes not here? I think I see her in the corner of my eye, hear her snoring at night in my bedroom. I miss her terribly. I know I must grieve her loss the same as any other and I am certainly going through the expected phases of shock, denial, anger and finally sadness.

How do these creatures who can’t speak with words impact our lives so profoundly and with such deep love?

Doesn’t it make you wonder about all the animals who are killed and eaten by us? These creatures certainly have feelings and spirits, otherwise we would never fall in love with them the way we do.

conversation-lizzy-2

I want to do something to honor my dog, but I don’t know what. My other animals, our cat Stanley and Ziggie my chihuahua keep looking for her. The whole house is confused. “Where did she go? Why did God make Lizzie died?” asked my son. I don’t have the answer for him, because I’m asking the same question.

I suppose the answer is, because life is hard and unfair and unexplainable and sometimes it just hurts, it sucks and there is no way through it but one day at a time. This is where I am grateful for my spiritual beliefs; they comfort me and remind me that there is more to the day than my eye can see, there is a whole universe out there that no one can explain. Lizzie is just part of the cycle of life and death and her sudden departure is teaching my kids that death is a part of life. I am thankful to be able to have this conversation with them. It’s an important and often scary talk to have, but so necessary.

Thanks for the parting gift Liz, I’m hoping if there is a doggie place of rest that she’s there with all her favorite foods and toys- playing, sunbathing and getting doggie massages.

I would love to hear your stories about a pet you loved who passed and what you did to to celebrate their life.

Amanda is a wife, mother, friend, photographer and the creator and host of The Conversation. @AmandadeCadenet

Comments

  • Jean

    So touching and relatable. Losing a pet is losing a family member. Wishing you a meaningful grieving process.

  • Maria

    The loss of a pet is so, so difficult to deal with. The pain hits hard and sometimes the lack of understanding on the part of other people makes it even more difficult. My litlle Eva died, all of a sudden, at home. My housband was with her, and did all he could to save her but nothing could have saved her. It was he time to depart.
    We feel blessed for the love and care she brought, the happy times, and the those diffcult days she was by our side. I will always love her.
    What we did to honour her? We buried her at home, in our garden; we put with her some of the things she loved most: her blanket, her toys, and some of her favourite food. I’m sure she’d be happy.

Every week in your inbox!

  • Exclusive notes and videos from Amanda de Cadenet.
  • Early access to our Limited Space Workshops.
  • Amanda’s Favorites and Special Offers shared with you weekly.
  • Exclusive notes and videos from Amanda de Cadenet.
  • Early access to our Limited Space Workshops.
  • Amanda’s Favorites and Special Offers shared with you weekly.
Subscribe Now

to receive our newsletter every Tuesday.

Sign up here for my Weekly Newsletter and Exclusive Updates: