I will admit that the recent inflatable tribute that Miley Cyrus displayed to her lost dog might be a bit over the top for some. But I cannot be silent in the face of some of the nasty rhetoric that has ensued. I am not a Miley Cyrus fan and frankly other than her most outrageous displays that make evening news, I know nothing about her. But I do know a lot about grieving for a pet. While there has been a ton of positive sentiment since Miley’s inflatable dog I have also noticed several articles and a lot of nasty commentary that besmirches grieving over the death of a pet. I personally find it callous and a decidedly ugly side of humanity when one person passes judgment on another’s grief. Can we not at least agree that people deserve respect and space when mourning…no matter who or what it is they are mourning? Can we not show enough grace to give someone the space to mourn even if we do not understand or agree with their grief? I know from experience how painful it is to be shamed by others when grieving a lost pet…it really is the very bottom of the creepy barrel to kick someone when they are mourning.
Our society is ever-changing; we are becoming more impersonal and disconnected from each other than ever, yet our need for companionship remains integral to what it means to be human. For many people, especially so many of our nation’s elderly, a pet may be the most constant and reliable companion in their life. The loss of a loyal companion (of any species), especially in the midst a culture that struggles to adequately face death and dying, is devastating. I think we can do better, extending grace and giving people the space they need to mourn without passing judgment on them! What do you think?