Newstalk
Newstalk

16.05 6 Feb 2019


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Psychologist Sabina Brennan believes that grieving for a pet is just as valid as any other form of grief.

Grieving for a pet can often be made even more difficult as it is sometimes considered a “disenfranchised grief” which in turn can cause people to suppress their emotions.

Listen to the full interview below:

LISTEN: The pain of losing a pet

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Taboo

According to Brennan, society often does not understand the grief that accompanies the death of a pet, and in turn, can shame people who experience it.

Loneliness

Pets can play a more important role for some people than others. Often for people living alone, their pet is their closest family member or friend. When that pet passes there is a significant void left in the owner's life; for a lonely person the void can be crippling.

Brennan flags that grief may not just be a result of death, but often separation. When older people move into nursing homes, their pet often moves to an animal rescue centre.

“Both are left suffering and ripped apart from their companion and just makes no sense to me,” Brennan expressed. 

Adoring owners

Some callers got in touch with Ciara to share their pet stories which included tribute tattoos and customised shoes featuring their pet's likeness. 


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