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Woman tells sister that her dog's death isn't 'the same' as her husband's; AITA?

Woman tells sister that her dog's death isn't 'the same' as her husband's; AITA?


Everyone handles loss and grieves in a different way, but comparing your pet's death to a human being is not a good technique...

So, when a conflicted woman decided to consult the moral compass of the internet otherwise known as Reddit's 'Am I the As*hole' about her sister's out-of-touch words of 'wisdom,' people were ready to help deem a verdict.

AITA (Am I the As*hole) for telling my sister grieving her dog is not the same as me grieving my husband?

To make a long story short, I lost my husband only a month ago. It's hard, I'm still grieving and I miss him everyday. I have to take medication for depression and anxiety to help me get through the day.

Last week, my sister's dog was put down due to some health issues and she was very upset, which is understandable. She called me as soon as it happened and said I was the only sibling who would understand her pain.

I didn't mind, honestly I just wanted to comfort her since her dog meant the world to her. She held a wake for him and our whole family attended. It was a nice service.

But now, she's comparing our losses. Telling me she knows exactly what I'm going through. That she can relate to the pain of losing someone so close to you. She calls me asking if we should visit graves together.

It was fine the first time but it's constant. She goes 3 times a day. It's already difficult to go once a week for me and she knows this. I feel like she's not even considering my own grief process.

Anyway, I told her that grieving her dog is not the same as grieving my husband. She's upset and refusing to talk to me now. I get it, it was uncalled for really. But my loss is new to me too and I guess I just got frustrated with how different we're dealing with our losses. Idk I feel like she should understand where I'm coming from too.

A dog is not the same as a husband. A dog can't love you back like a husband can. A dog can't read to your children like a husband can. A dog can't make soup when you're ill like a husband can.

It's really hard for me right now to discern when I'm being condescending or not. Idk if it's a side effect of my medication, or if the empathetic part of my brain has shut down. But I really am getting tired of her comparing our pain when she lost her dog and I lost my world. At the very least, she still has her husband.

I have two young children at home, processing a loss unimaginable to most kids their age. And she's trying to whisk me away to graveyard to visit her dog. AITA?

Here's what the jury of internet strangers had to say about this...

IanDOsmond said:

NTA. I am not going to be too mean to your sister, but she is being an asshole here. Not just because dogs live shorter lives than humans so it is more expected, not just that, no matter how much we love animals, humans > other animals, but also because you can't necessarily compare grief in the first place.

Some people are comforted by sharing similar experiences; some people find it pushy, and if you start doing that and the other person doesn't like it, you stop.

Asleep_Dimension_120 said:

NTA she lost a dog whilst she cared for her pet it was just that a pet. Losing a dog doesn't leave you worrying about paying the mortgage, how to care for your children etc. Yes she has grief but people need to stop comparing animals with humans.

I_am_legend-ary said:

NTA. Your sister is entitled to her grief, however she should absolutely not be comparing it to the loss of your husband. I would be pissed if I was in your situation.

aravarth said:

Absolutey NTA. A dog is not the same as a spouse. And your sister — though in her own pain from her own loss — should recognise that they're not the same thing, even remotely.

BetterDay2733 said:

NTA. You lost your husband and have two kids who lost their dad. You have enough grief on your plate. Your sister says you're the only one who can understand how she feels, well it doesn't sound like she's considering how you feel because she's just adding to your already heavy load with her own grief.

I had to put down my dog recently. I was devastated. But I cannot imagine in any world going to someone who just lost their husband and father of their children for support with that. Maybe you could have handled it more tactfully by just saying you can't be her support right now but I don't think you're the as*hole here.

Such-Awareness-2960 said:

NTA. Your sister was out of line to even think loosing her dog is the same as loosing your husband. It would be just as insulting to say it was the same as losing a parent or a child.

Also your husband died a month ago and your sister thinks seeking out the person still dealing with grief to comfort her was a good idea. I'm sorry for your loss.

Don't worry about your sister right now. There was selfishness to what she did. I guess misery really does love company.

So, there you have it...

Everyone agreed beautifully unanimously here that this woman wasn't at all wrong to put her sister in her place about her completely tone deaf comparison. While they are both dealing with a loss, even bringing up her dog when she knows what her sister is enduring is completely ridiculous.

Sources: Reddit
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