Passionate about animals, Florence Meney explores the mechanisms of animal mourning and offers a reflection on the place of animals in our society in her new book, The last walk. All those – many – who have lived through the loss of their pet know how difficult it can be, a source of sadness and incomprehension. Florence provides explanations and leads to make this difficult passage a little better.
Well aware that this sometimes misunderstood bereavement can be experienced in a very solitary way, Florence Meney describes it from a different angle in her book. Empathetic, having gone through this by losing her two dogs a few months apart, she offers to accompany the bereaved in their return to a certain serenity.
“A lot of people feel guilty. On social media, there isn’t a day when you don’t see two or three people talking about the mourning of their dog, their cat, and who feel guilty because it’s almost more intense than for a human, ”comments Florence Meney in an interview.
“That’s what I wanted to explore: the relationship we have with animals, the loss we can have in relation to a loved dog, a loved cat. Why do we feel guilty and what can we do about it? Is it normal to be in pain? ”
Experts speak out
As she is not an expert, she says, she enlisted various experts that she interviewed: Dre Annie Ross, veterinarian and expert in animal mourning, Élise Desaulniers, director of the Montreal SPCA, Jessica Nichol, responsible for palliative care at the SPCA, Dre Stéphanie Grenier-Laroche, chief veterinarian of the Saint-Félicien Zoo, and Élaine Kennedy, psychologist. Their advice is valuable and enlightened.
“I approached mourning as such, but also mourning experienced by children, by elderly people. I went to speak with the head veterinarian of the Saint-Félicien Zoo to talk to me about the mourning of the people who take care of large wild animals for years, decades. ”
The author has learned a lot from writing this book. “What I remember is that we should not impose a model of mourning on ourselves. It’s kind of true for humans, but it’s worse for animals because a lot of people don’t allow themselves to grieve, to express it. They censor themselves. ”
And it seems like the worst thing to do. “On the contrary, we have to accept that this mourning is very important, very intense and very long. Once you stop feeling guilty about being sad, you can begin to work toward serenity. It’s important to talk about grief, to share your grief. ”
The reality is often quite different. “Obviously, in the case of animals, not everyone will understand that you want to talk about your dog for long minutes, hours. You have to find people who have an empathetic ear, who understand this attachment to animals. ”
How to go about feeling better? “We must evoke the disappeared, as for a human. Evoke good memories. We must also be able to see that we have done everything we could do. You have to see all that we have done good for the animal, all that we have given it that is good in its life. It helps a lot to progress, to make peace with the start and start the march towards serenity. ”
- Florence Meney is passionate about animals, which punctuate all aspects of her life.
- She is the author of black novels, including On your grave and Purple ink, and a collection of black short stories, Death is my home.
- She also wrote My head, my friend, my enemy, which portrays people grappling with mental health issues and professionals working in the field.
“One fine morning (or rather an ugly morning, in this case), we find Nemo, the guppy received the previous Christmas, the fins in the air, or even Titou, the hamster, with stiff paws in the wheel that will never turn. more under its frantic run. Helped by parents, our faces bathed in tears, we dig a small grave in the garden, we make a cross, we write a little speech … or we simply flush the toilet. Here lies Nemo. Farewell Titou. “