It just hit me that though I aggressively avoid books and movies with dead pet storylines, I willfully seek out threads here on COTH Forums dealing with the real-life anguish of COTHers losing their beloved friends, canine, feline and equine. I read these threads, ALWAYS shedding tears for the poster and furfriend whom I've never met, jingling, saying prayers, and just spending time contemplating the loss of someone's heart kitty, horse, or dog, and mourning for them long after I send my condolences.
Kinda weird. Why is reading and responding to everyone's sad posts something I do not hesitate to do, knowing full well I WILL get choked up, I WILL get teary and occasionally more? But I won't touch Old Yeller, though its a fictional tale?
I suspect its the kinship I feel with my fellow COTHers, going through what I and practically everyone on COTH has gone through at least once, and more often too many times to count. I remember what it was like losing my first dog-my first heart dog. I remember having to make the inconceivable decision to put down my first horse at the way-too-young age of 14, though he looked perfectly perfect(neurological issues). I remember losing my dear cats and dogs, one by one, and one time 2 at once, and sending over the bridge my 32 y.o. horse while his best pony buddy stood nearby. The cancer diagnoses, the awful accidents with no chance of a goodbye, the long goodbyes, the planning of a perfect last day, and the turmoil of deciding that day has come.
Somehow reading the stories of our fellow COTHers-the anguish, grief, the memories, the tributes triggers enormous empathy in me, and I want to let those grieving folks know that I hear them and mourn for and with them.
Anybody who actively avoids the pain of the "loss" threads as they do the sad movies and books? (I can certainly understand why.)
Definitely kinship, kindness. And good for you. I don't avoid loss threads- specifically go jungle the griever. But there you're offering something to someone, which we don't get to do in a sad dog/horse story. I do avoid threads that point out a news article of abuse though...
Yeah I agree it's kindness, trying to help real people hurting which is really nice of you. I think you avoid those kinds of books and movies because movies and books are entertainment, and most of the time we don't want to be sad while being entertained.
There is something different about responding to a post of someone who needs some support, encouragement, etc, than reading a book exploiting those emotions.
If you saw me in person, I would look like a coldhearted #!%$*, my vibe or demeanor can throw people off, but I am someone that will help strangers(esp animals) in a heartbeat. I think that makes me avoid tear-jerker novels and biographies b/c I am actually a softie who will do anything to help. So I don't have that energy to give just for an emotional-journey book. I like to read for escape and fun and education.
Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed
Le Petit Prince