Better to Have Loved and Lost? Blah, blah, blah

I watched Marley & Me last night and started wondering if it really IS better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.  What do you think?  Let’s just talk about animals right now.

Seven years ago we got two cocker spaniels, Max and Spirit.  Two months later Spirit died in a tragic pool incident.  The girls were little, but completely torn up about it, as were we.  Kasey still cries about poor Spirit dying.  She named him and she thought of him as hers.

My Kasey is always looking for something else, some animal to love and take care of.  However, when her mouse (yes, mouse) died, the crying, wailing and sadness that hit her were almost unbearable.  She loved that mouse (I can’t think of her name right now), and was sad for days after she died.  I, of course, was the one who had to take the cage outside with said dead mouse in it and put it on the deck.  The next day she put the mouse (what was her name?) in a checkbook box and buried it.  A couple of weeks later when the dogs dug the poor mouse up, there was more crying .  Poor Kasey.  I informed her that the mouse was the last new animal we would get, it’s too hard. 

Last night I couldn’t find the cat.  I was so scared that the cat was going to be dead under a bed somewhere and then what was I going to do.  I started wondering why we have all these animals and what’s going to happen when they die.  I’m not good at this stuff.  It’s bad enough when humans in your life start dying, but pets, come on.  Why do we put ourselves through this?  I like having pets.  The dogs are good for security, and the cat keeps the pests out, but nothing lives forever and does the joy of having them make up for the pain of when they die?

I’m not trying to be Debbie Downer, and I won’t even really get into this point for humans, pets are enough of an emotional wringer for me right now.  But food for thought:  When there’s a great love story that doesn’t work out, i.e. Jane Austen and Tom Lefroy, was she really better off loving and losing than never loving at all?   Oh, and if you’re wondering, the cat was fine.



  1. Hmmmm……good question….I think it’s all about preparedness. After my divorce I started seeing a counselor. One of the things she said to me, I still don’t know if I agree or not, is that women should try focusing on the here and now of a relationship. She said we spend to much energy worrying on the “forever” and sometimes miss out on the beauty of the “now”. When I started dating again I decided that I would appreciate the man I first became involved with for whatever we would create and I was prepared for separation if that should be where we ended up. 4 1/2 years later, I’m still with the same man. I’ve learned a lot about myself through him and if we ended tomorrow, I would always be grateful for those lessons learned. Sad but grateful.

  2. carikelley

    All of our relationships, whether with people or pets, shape who we are. If we never open ourselves up to love someone or something else, we’ll shrivel up, lonely and alone. We were created to love. So, yes, I think it’s better to have loved and lost…

    And I think the loss of a pet can prepare us (esp. our kids) for the loss of a person dear to us. Use those deaths as opportunities to teach them about dying, about leaving a mark while you’re living, and that everything dies a physical death but can live with us forever.

  3. Cindi

    I can’t even think about losing Providence but couldn’t imagine not having her in my life all this time. Again, I don’t like to think about when she passes but will know that she was the most loved and spoiled dog ever.

    P.S. The mouse’s name was Leah.

    • christyd4

      Oh my gosh, you just made me laugh out loud. I’m going to tell Kasey that you’re definitely the better mom! I can’t believe you remembered that.


  1. Life Goes On « Dealing with Life

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