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Grieving Mom Blasts Sister For Comparing Her Daughter’s Death To The Death Of Her Cat

Sad woman sitting in armchair with head in hands

Losing a child is an indescribable pain.

Losing pets hurt.

But there is a special kind of torture in outliving your kids.

People may think they know how someone feels.

But this is definitely a situation where unless it’s happened to you, you’ll never really know.

Case in point…

Redditor frost_flower111 wanted to discuss her experience and get some feedback. So naturally, she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

She asked:

“AITA for telling my sister she is not allowed to compare my daughter’s death to her cat?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“So I (F[emale] 38) lost my daughter (15) just 2 weeks ago.”

“She got Leukima 4 years ago and it just ended up spreading throughout her body she fought very hard for a long time.”

“Cancer is such a b**ch I watched my poor baby suffer so much because of it.”

“Anyway, since the loss of my daughter, a lot of people have been trying to comfort me and I understand they are just trying their best but it doesn’t always help.”

“My sister who doesn’t have kids (a personal choice of hers) (F 36) specifically has been the worst at trying to help me.”

“A year ago she had to put down her 16-year-old cat.”

“I lost a pet before so I know how difficult that can be but it’s different than losing my actual human daughter.”

“She has said things like I know how you feel about (daughter’s name) because of the loss of (cat name) she was my child.”

“I understand animals are like family but my daughter and her cat aren’t the same.”

“I was trying to just ignore her and let her comfort me with how she felt.”

“But today she came over and started talking about how she knows exactly how I feel because of her cat.”

“I finally got upset and said no you don’t, yes pets can be part of the family and mean a lot to you I understand losing your cat was hard.”

“But my daughter was my daughter.”

“So until you experience this type of grief and have to see your daughter die slowly from a horrible disease you aren’t allowed to act like losing a cat is the same thing.”

“My sister got mad and called me a heartless AH.”

The OP was left to wonder,

“I talked to a few people and they agreed that I acted like an AH… so am I?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

“DUDE this happened to me too!!!”

“My mom died and one of my friends was like ‘Oh yeah I remember watching my dog die.'”

“Like?!?!? I get humans like to try to connect but what the actual f**k?”

“Anywho NTA.” ~ ComprehensiveMix1961

“Losing dogs over my life has destroyed me.”

“Genuinely, I still dream about them and cry over them 6 years on.”

“But the pain I felt will never come close to the pain of losing my father.”

“I love my dogs like family and like children, and it hurts when they’re gone.”

“But it’s not comparable.”

“I’m sorry for the loss of your mom.”  ~ Safety_Sharp

“There are also just general life expectations (beyond just biological, humans should mean more etc).”

“When you bought your five dogs you willingly accepted that each of their deaths is something you’ll experience.”

“They only live a fraction of a human lifetime, after all.”

“Your kids you absolutely expect to outlive you.”

“Having that particular expectation eschewed is incalculably devastating.” ~ Nolelista

“Agreed. I’ve wept for days over my dog’s death.”

“But as a parent, I’ve had horrific nightmares that have left me shaken, sobbing, and sick to my stomach because they featured losing one of my children.”

“I cannot and do not want to imagine that scenario becoming a reality.” ~ LittlestEcho

“As you say I’ve wept uncontrollably over the death of dogs and still miss them terribly.”

“But this was incomparable to the loss of my Dad.”

“And even though I sadly don’t have children of my own, the thought of something happening to my sister’s 2 daughters and son gives me nightmares.” ~ MoonLizard1306

“The loss of my 14-year-old dog has been, to date, the worst loss of my life (mostly because my parents and family were awful) but I still wouldn’t try to compare it to someone’s loss of a child.”

“You expect that you will lose them eventually and have time to prepare for it, and it is just part of dog ownership.”

“You don’t ever expect or want to lose a child.” ~ fckinsleepless

“This is the difference.”

“My kitty Cleo will be the hardest loss of my life, but I know and expect that to come in the future and I will be prepared for that as well as I can be.”

“That’s part and parcel of having a pet.”

“A parent should NEVER, never have to bury their child.” ~ af4144

“My grandfather had to bury my aunt 5 years ago when cancer won.”

‘I was told I might have cancer two weeks ago and I refuse to tell him it’s even a possibility until I have an actual diagnosis.”

“I lived with him as his unofficial caregiver for almost a decade and other than this I tell him everything.”

“He’s 96 now, and it would probably literally break him.” ~ BresciaE

“NTA. Yep, you know you’ll lose them one day/you’ll outlive a pet.”

“Losing a child is never going to be comparable to another loss, and I had a pet that felt like my own child.”

“But animals also are not people.”

“People have more in-depth and apparent personalities.”

“I think the biggest difference here is that… the cat was at the end of its life.”

“It was an adult in personality and a senior in needs probably.”

“OP’s daughter was supposed to have a future.”

“A parent feels not only the loss of their own future but the loss of the future the child imagined for themselves.”

“You don’t ask a pet what they want to be when they grow up.” ~ MaidOfTwigs

“Torn between feels over such an understanding and caring comment and snort-laughing over reading your username out loud.”

“100% agree, and OP?”

“You’re NTA and I suggest perhaps some distance from these people who can’t seem to see past their own bulls**t to extend a minimum of grace during this very dark time for you.” ~ _Im_No_Professional_

“I lost one of my very special dogs three years ago.”

“It was a grief like I never experienced before.”

“It was different to the loss and grief I felt when losing my dad and my sister.”

“I think because losing an animal the grief hits you all at once so it’s completely overwhelming.”

“Whereas when you lose a loved one there are five stages of grief.”

“All of that to say obviously the loss of a pet will never ever compare to the loss of a child.”

“OP NTA.” ~ Diligent-Might6031

“My God yes I had the same thing happen.”

‘Though we were 14-year-olds at the time when my Dad died.”

“And I still remember the exact quote: ‘I know how you feel OneBadWombat, my dog died.'”

“However back to OP.”

“I am so tremendously sorry for your loss.”

“And seeing all the internet hugs your way.”

“I had a cat ( April) for 16 years, raised her from a kitten as she was born by our cousin’s cat who lived with us at the time.”

“I was 6 when she was born.”

“I had April in my life longer than I had my Dad, and almost as long as my Mum was in my life.”

“April the cat passed away the day after my father’s anniversary.”

“Her loss saddened and upset me to an nth degree.”

“I’ve had other cats die before and since April’s death.”

“None have affected me like her death.”

“Death and grief affect us all differently.”

“And comparing the death of a pet to a child is gonna rub the wrong way for the majority of folx.”

“I know if my son were to pass, April’s loss would be shallow in comparison.”

“However OP you are NTA at all.” ~ OneBadWombat

“Definitely NTA.”

“When my brother died at 22 my Mom’s friend messaged her on Facebook one week after it happened saying she knew how she felt because she had recently lost her dog.”

“It took everything in my Mom’s power to just ignore it and not tell her to f**k off.”

“Goodness gracious it infuriates me that it’s happened to so many other people, too.”

“I’m so sorry for all of your losses.” ~ SleepyMillenial55

“NTA, OP, you are absolutely right.”

“You need to cut off every single person who tries to tell you that you acted like an a-hole to your sister.”

“Do not budge from this, and do not apologize to her for keeping the peace.” ~ unpopularcryptonite

“I’m so sorry you’re going through this.”

“No, I’ve lost a cat and also have kids.”

“A cat is NOT the same thing and there is no way she knows exactly how you feel.”

“There are ways to be empathetic without trying to make a comparison like that, and I can understand being annoyed at constantly being told she went through the same thing.”

“Even if you were being irrational (which you’re not), you just went through a traumatic loss just two weeks ago.”

“Your sister needs to be more empathetic to your feelings. NTA.” ~ nate6259

Well, OP, Reddit is with you.

You’re in the midst of immense grief.

Nobody can really help you shoulder the burden.

But they can at least try to be more understanding.

Your sister may believe she’s trying to help.

So when everyone calms down, maybe sit and have a heart-to-heart.