Should we have a day off work after loosing our pet?

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Hello, should we have a paid day off by the employer when our pet dies?

As a grief specialist, I say yes it would be important for our company to offer a holiday following the death of our pet. They are not objects, they are living beings, who think, reflect, who have emotions. They are attached to us and have created an emotional bond of attachment sometimes deeper than with a human congener.

Of course, one day is not enough considering that the first 24-48 hrs the person is in shock and does not yet realize the reality of death. On the other hand, it would be a beginning.

Humans have a long way to go with the relationship with animals.

But for those who love animals and for whom it takes an important place, yes I recommend it. Mourning is a taboo for society.

The fact that animal bereavement is also a complicated mourning, silence and isolation adds to the pain of it.

To allow to have this day off, would at least show to the work entourage that this mourning is suffering for this person and the right to a moment of stop to underline it. In addition, personally, it allows for the mourner to realize the reality of the situation, live

it, take a stop in this life that rolls at full speed. To honor the importance that this animal had in his life. It is important to give oneself the right to cry, because the pain, the suffering of the loss is real.

Sometimes even the bereaved for whom the relationship with his animal was important will judge himself. Will question myself: Am I crazy to have so much trouble for an animal? The taboo of this mourning is so present that he himself will question the veracity of his suffering. Also, it’s a defense mechanism to avoid feeling momentarily. But despite these mechanisms of defenses in the face of death, mourning will make him one way or another.

Some people may even experience long-term depression symptoms. When animal bereavement has occurred, certain physical symptoms are present such as: crying, numbness, dry mouth, chest weight, sleepiness and appetite, dizziness, difficulty breathing.

Would you be able to work with all these symptoms? I do not believe. The employer should be aware of these possibilities and not trivialize them. A day off is cheaper than six months in depression.

When you do not take the time to mourn, it creates a blockage. Unresolved grief accumulates and prevents full life.

And you, do you think we should have a paid day off when our pet dies? Have you ever taken time off work when your pet dies?

Brigitte Bérubé

humanist therapist

grief specialist

Brigitte Berube

Brigitte Bérubé

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