I Don’t Want to Hear About Your Dead Cat

I’m sorry that your cat died. Truly, I am. I’d be devastated if I lost my two dogs or my dwarf hamster. But I really really do not want to hear about your dead cat.

My best friend killed herself. She lied down in front of a train and died. That’s not comparable to your elderly, sick cat dying. Please stop pretending it is and stop trying to use that as part of your ‘helpful’ advice. Your cat was not my best friend.

I get it. I do. You’re trying to help. You think what you’re saying is very helpful, and now you feel like you’ve done your part in healing my grief. Congratulations, please give yourself a pat on the back and walk away. Please, actually though, leave.

Image from Emily McDowell’s There is No Good Card for This

My life changed forever the day that I read the words telling me that my best friend of 19 years old had passed away. I screamed and cried for days, and over 2 years later, sometimes I still do. When she left the Earth, I stayed here forced to deal with it.

I understand that you cannot comprehend the feeling of losing someone to suicide, and you think what you’re saying is helping. But here’s the difference: I’m left with guilt from this. I’m left with not only this terrible grief, but this idea that I could’ve done something to prevent her last day from really being her last.

So maybe, instead of trying to tell me about how you know what I’m going through because you lost your cat — just sit with me in my grief. Sit with me in my sadness, and don’t try to tell me it will be okay. I know it will, deep in the back of my head, but hearing it from you — someone who doesn’t really know it actually will be okay — isn’t going to help. Just sit with me and listen to me. That’s all I want.

And if you want to ask me how I’m doing — that’s okay. But don’t make me comfort you when you don’t hear the answer you want. Just stay with me and let me know I’m not alone.