"I am not allowed to have pets. My mother does not want me to become sad when they die."Now I am a mother myself, in addition to being a dog and cat owner. When pets have died I have coped with not only my own grief, but with my children´s as well. And yes, it hurts. It cuts deep into my mother-heart to see their pain.
Image from Freestockpro
The mother who denied her child years of joy with a pet to protect her from the pain when the pet would die, is not the only one reasoning this way. Maybe you also want to avoid pain, and above all, shield your kids from pain?
- Do you stop yourself from falling in love to avoid the pain of rejection?
- Do you choose the career you think will be safe for you, rather than the one that excites you?
- Do you avoid the really big and interesting assignments at work because you are afraid to fail?
- Do you hold back friendship and love to more easily cope with a possible loss of your friend or lover?
- And... Do you teach your children to do the same, to protect them?
Those of you who follow this blog, know that we have lost two fantastic pets (Only life knows its length, So much love, so much pain) in just two years. This has of course impacted our family.
When our 13 year old middle son wrote a letter to his future self for an assignment in school, he wrote a truly profound sentence. A sentence that shows that having pets not only gives years of joy and friendship. It also gives life lessons that many grown-ups I know have not yet learned. He wrote to his future self:
"Tragic things will happen - and it will be OK."
Tragic things will - inevitably - happen. You may be able to protect your child from the loss of a pet by not having a pet. But what about the loss of a grandparent? The loss of a job? The loss of yourself, of a friend, of a lover?
You cannot protect your child, or yourself from pain. And you don't have to. Because even though tragic things will happen, it will be OK.
When you truly understand what this means, you will be able to love and live life to its fullest.