A special kind of grief. Cultural delegitimizations and representations of death in the case pet loss

Author/s Ines Testoni, Loriana De Cataldo
Publishing Year 2017 Issue 2017/3
Language Italian Pages 16 P. 413-428 File size 207 KB
DOI 10.3280/PU2017-003004
DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation click here

Below, you can see the article first page

If you want to buy this article in PDF format, you can do it, following the instructions to buy download credits

Article preview

FrancoAngeli is member of Publishers International Linking Association, Inc (PILA), a not-for-profit association which run the CrossRef service enabling links to and from online scholarly content.

In Western world, pets are increasingly significant in the everyday life of many people. Nevertheless, society today is still unable to recognize the suffering resulting from their death. This phenomenon and the most important studies on pet-loss are described. Some assumptions on ontological representations of death, which might contribute to explain the delegitimization of pet-grief, are discussed.

Keywords: Human-animal relationship; Mourning the loss of a pet; Ontological representation of death; Stereotypes; Antispecism

  1. Adrian J.A., Deliramich A.N. & Frueh B.C. (2009). Complicated grief and posttraumatic stress disorder in humans’ response to the death of pets/animals. Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic, 73, 3: 176-187.
  2. Agamben G. (1995). Homo sacer. Il potere sovrano e la nuda vita. Torino: Einaudi.
  3. Albert A. & Bulcroft K. (1988). Pets, families, and the life course. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 50: 543-552. DOI: 10.2307/352019
  4. Anderson M. (1994). Coping with Sorrow on the Loss of Your Pet (2nd edition). Los Angeles, CA: Peregrine Press.
  5. Anderson W.P., Reid C.M. & Jennings G.L. (1992). Pet ownership and risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Medical Journal of Australia, 157, 5: 298-301.
  6. Archer J. & Rhodes V. (1993). The grief process and job loss: A cross-sectional study. British Journal of Psychology, 84, 3: 395-410.
  7. Archer J. & Winchester G. (1994). Bereavement following the death of a pet. British Journal of Psychology, 85, 2: 259-271.
  8. Archer J. (1997). Why do people love their pets? Evolution and Human Behavior, 18, 4: 237-259. DOI: 10.1016/S0162-3095(99)80001-4
  9. Archer J. (1999). The Nature of Grief: The Evolution and Psychology of Reactions to Los. New York: Routledge.
  10. Beck L. & Madresh E. (2008). Romantic partners and four-legged friends: An extension of attachment theory to relationships with pets. Anthrozoos, 21, 1: 43-56. DOI: 10.2752/089279308X274056
  11. Bekoff M. & Pierce J. (2009). Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
  12. Blazina C. (2011). Life after loss: Psychodynamic perspectives on a continuing bonds approach with “pet companion”. In: Blazina C., Boyraz G. & Shenn-Miller D., The Psychology of the Human-Animal Bond. A Resource for Clinicians and Researchers. New York: Springer, 2011, pp. 203-224.
  13. Carmack B.J. & Packman W. (2011). Pet loss: The interface of continuing bonds. Research and practice. In: Neimeyer R., Harris D. & Thornton G., editors, Grief and Bereavement in Contemporary Society: Bridging Research and Practice. New York: Routledge, 2011, pp. 273-284.
  14. Carmack B.J. (1985). The effects on family members and functioning after the death of a pet. Marriage and Family Review, 8, 3/4: 149-161.
  15. Cheney D. & Seyfarth R.M. (1990). How Monkeys See the World: Inside the Mind of Another Species, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
  16. Chur-Hansen A. (2010). Grief and bereavement issues and the loss of a companion animal: People living with a companion animal, owners of livestock, and animal support workers. Clinical Psychologist, 14, 1: 14-21. DOI: 10.1080/13284201003662800
  17. Cibeca L., a cura di (2007). Pet therapy: quando l’animale aiuta a stare bene. Perugia: Fabbri.
  18. Clarke S.R.L. (1977). The Moral Status of Animals. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
  19. Cohen C. & Regan T. (2001). The Animal Rights Debate. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
  20. Cohen S.P. (2002). Can pets function as family members? Western Journal of Nursing Research, 24, 6: 621-638. DOI: 10.1177/019394502236636
  21. Cordaro M. (2012). Pet-loss and disenfranchised grief: Implications for mental health counseling practice. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 34, 4: 283-294.
  22. Cusack O. (1988). Pets and Mental Health. New York: Haworth Press.
  23. Doka K. & Weisman A. D. (1995). Recognizing hidden sorrow. In: Despelder L.A. & Strickland A.L., editors, The Path Ahead: Readings in Death and Dying. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield, 1995, pp. 271-280.
  24. Doka K.J. (2008). Disenfranchised grief in historical and cultural perspective. In: Stroebe M.S., Hansson R.O., Schut H. & Stroebe W., editors, Handbook of Bereavement Research and Practice: Advances in Theory and Intervention. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association, 2008, pp. 223-240.
  25. Dunn K.L., Mehler S.J. & Greenberg H.S. (2005). Social work with a pet loss support. Social Work Health Care, 41, 2: 59- 70.
  26. Eurispes (2015). --Rapporto Italia: www.eurispes.eu/content/eurispes-rapporto-italia-2015.
  27. Field N.P., Orsini L., Gavish R. & Packman W. (2009). Role of attachment in response to pet loss. Death Studies, 33, 4: 332-355. DOI: 10.1080/07481180802705783
  28. Garrity T.F., Stallones L., Marx M.B. & Johnson T.P. (1989). Pet ownership and attachment as supportive factors in the health of the elderly. Anthrozoos, 3, 1: 35-44. DOI: 10.2752/089279390787057829
  29. Gerwolls M.K. & Labott S.M. (1994). Adjustment to the death of a companion animal. Anthro-zoos, 7, 3: 72-186. DOI: 10.2752/089279394787001826
  30. Giffney N. & Hird M.J., editors (2008). Queering the Non/Human. Chicago, IL: Ashgate.
  31. Ikram S. (2005). Divine Creatures: Animal Mummies in Ancient Egypt. New York: American University of Cairo Press.
  32. Julius H., Beetz A., Kotrschal K., Turner D. & Uvnäs-Moberg K. (2014). Attachment to Pets. An Integrative View of Human-Animal Relationships with Implication for Therapeutic Practice. Boston, MA: Hogrefe (trad. it.: L’attaccamento agli animali. Una visione integrata della relazione uomo-animale nella pet therapy. Firenze: Hogrefe, 2014).
  33. Katcher A.H., Friedmann E., Goodman M. & Goodman L. (1983). Men, women, and dogs. California Veterinarian, 37, 2: 14-16.
  34. Katcher A., Friedmann E., Beck A. & Lynch J (1983). Looking, talking and blood pressure: Physiological consequences of interaction with the living environment. In: Katcher A.H. & Beck A.M., editors, New Perspective on Our Lives with Companion Animals. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1983, pp. 351-359.
  35. Kellert S.R. & Wilson E.O. (1993). The Biophilia Hypothesis. Washington, D.C.: Island Press.
  36. Klass D., Silverman P.R. & Nickman S., editors (1996). Continuing Bonds: New Understandings of Grief. New York: Taylor & Francis.
  37. Korsgaard C. (2004). Fellow creatures: Kantian ethics and our duties to animals. In: Peterson G.B., editor, The Tanner Lectures on Human Values. Salt Lake City; UT: University of Utah Press, 2004 --(http://tannerlectures.utah.edu/_documents/a-to-z/k/korsgaard_2005.pdf).
  38. Kwong M.J. & Bartholomew K. (2011). “Not just a dog”: An attachment perspective on relationships with assistance dogs. Attachment & Human Development 13, 5: 421-436. DOI: 10.1080/14616734.2011.58441
  39. Lagoni L. (2011). Family-present euthanasia: Protocols for planning and preparing clients for the death of a pet. In: Blazina C., Boyraz G. & Shenn-Miller D., editors, The Psychology of the Human-Animal Bond. A Resource for Clinicians and Researchers. New York: Springer, 2011, pp. 181-202.
  40. Linzey A. (1995). Animal Theology. Chicago, IL: University of Illiniois Press (trad. it.: Teologia animale: i diritti animali nella prospettiva teologica. Torino: Cosmopolis, 1998).
  41. Linzey A. & Regan T., editors (2007). Animals and Christianity: A Book of Readings. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock (trad. it.: Gli animali e il cristianesimo. Per un’etica compassionevole. Casale Monferrato [AL]: Sonda, 2012).
  42. McConnell A.R., Brown C.M., Shoda T.M., Stayton L.E. & Martin C.E. (2011). Friends with benefits: On the positive consequences of pet ownership. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101, 6: 1239-1252.
  43. McCutcheon K. A. (2006). Predictors of complicated and uncomplicated grief after the death of a companion animal. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, 67, 1-B: 552.
  44. Morales P.C. (1997). Grieving in silence: The loss of companion animals in modern society. Journal of Personal and Interpersonal Loss, 2, 3: 243-254. DOI: 10.1080/10811449708414419
  45. Morley C. & Fook J. (2005). The importance of pet loss and some implications for services. Mortality, 10, 2: 127-143. DOI: 10.1080/13576270412331329849
  46. Neimeyer R.A. & Jordan J.R. (2002). Disenfranchisement as empathic failure: Grief therapy and the co-construction of meaning. In: Doka K.J., editor, Disenfranchised Grief: New Challenges, Strategies and Directions. Chicago, IL: Research Press, 2002, pp. 95-126.
  47. Nussbaum M. (2006). Frontiers of Justice: Disability, Nationality, and Species Membership. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press.
  48. Packman W.B., Camarck J. & Ronen R. (2011). Therapeutic implications of continuing bonds expressions following the death of a pet. Omega, 64, 4: 335-356.
  49. Planchon L.A. & Templer D.I. (1996). Death of a companion cat or dog and human bereavement: Psychosocial variables. Society & Animals 10, 1: 93–105. DOI: 10.1163/156853002760030897
  50. Podberscek A.L., Paul E.S. & Serpell J.A., editors (2000). Companion Animals and Us: Exploring the Relationship Between People and Pets. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press.
  51. Quackenbush J.E. & Glickman L. (1984). Helping people adjust to the death of a pet. Health and Social Work, 9, 1: 42-48.
  52. Regan T. (2004). The Case for Animal Rights (3rd edition). Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.
  53. Ronconi L., Testoni I. & Zamperini A. (2009). Validation of the Italian version of the Reasons for Living Inventory. TPM - Testing, Psychometrics, Methodology in Applied Psychology, 16: 151-159. DOI: 10.4473/TPM.16.3.4
  54. Ryder R.D. (1989). Animal Revolution: Changing Attitudes towards Speciesism. Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell.
  55. Serpell J. (1987). Pet keeping in non-western societies: Some popular misconceptions. Anthrozoos, 1, 3: 166–174. DOI: 10.2752/089279388787058443
  56. Severino E. (1998). Il destino della tecnica. Milano: Rizzoli, 2009.
  57. Sharkin B. & Knox D. (2003). Pet loss: Issues and implications for the psychologist. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 34, 4: 414–421. DOI: 10.1037/0735-7028.34.4.414
  58. Singer P. (1973). Animal Liberation. New York: Random House.
  59. Singer P. (2004). One World. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
  60. Singer P., editor (1985). In Defence of Animals. Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell.
  61. Stroebe M.S., Abakoumin G., Stroebe W. & Schut H. 2012 Continuing bonds in adjustment to bereavement: Impact of abrupt versus gradual separation. Personal Relationships, 19, 2: 255-266.
  62. Stroebe M., Schut H. & Boerner K. (2010). Continuing bonds in adaptation to bereavement: Toward theoretical integration. Clinical Psychology Review, 30: 259-268.
  63. Sunstein C.R. & Nussbaum M., editors (2004). Animal Rights: Current Debates and New Directions. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
  64. Testoni I. (2016). The psychology of death and mourning: From clinical work to death education. Psicoterapia e Scienze Umane, L, 2: 229-252. DOI: 10.3280/PU2016-002004
  65. Testoni I., Ancona D. & Ronconi L. (2015). The ontological representation of death: A scale to measure the idea of annihilation versus passage. Omega, 71, 1: 60-81. DOI: 10.1177/0030222814568289
  66. Testoni I., Lazzarotto Simioni J. & Di Lucia Sposito D. (2013). Representation of death and social management of the limit of life: Between resilience and irrationalism. Nutritional Therapy & Metabolism, 31, 4: 192-198. DOI: 10.5301/NTM.2013.11585
  67. Testoni I., Sposito D.D., De Cataldo L. & Ronconi L. (2014). Life at all costs? Italian social representations of end-of-life decisions after President Napolitano’s speech – Margin notes on withdrawing artificial nutrition and hydration. Nutritional Therapy & Metabolism, 32, 3: 121-135. DOI: 10.5301/NTM.2014.12488
  68. Testoni I., Visintin E.P., Capozza D., Carlucci M.C. & Shams M. (2016). The implicit image of God: God as reality and psychological well-being. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 55, 1: 174-184.
  69. Volpato C. (2011). Deumanizzazione. Come si legittima la violenza. Bari: Laterza.
  70. Volpato C. (2013). Negare l’altro. La deumanizzazione e le sue forme. Psicoterapia e Scienze umane, XLVII, 2: 311-328. DOI: 10.3280/PU2013-002012
  71. Waldau P. (2001). The Specter of Speciesism: Buddhist and Christian Views of Animals. Ox-ford, UK: Oxford University Press.
  72. Walker R. & Ivanhoe P.J., editors (2007). Working Virtue: Virtue Ethics and Contemporary Moral Problems. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
  73. Walsh F. (2009a). Human-animal bonds. I: The relational significance of companion animals. Family Process, 48, 4: 462-480.
  74. Walsh F. (2009b). Human-Animal Bonds. II: The role of pets in family systems and family. Therapy Family Process, 48 (4): 481-499.
  75. Wilson E.O. (1984). Biophilia. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  76. Wise S.M. (2000). Rattling the Cage. Toward Legal Rights for Animals. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing.
  77. Woods V. (2010). Bonobo Handshake. New York: Gotham Books.
  78. Worden. J.W. (2008). Grief Counseling and Grief Therapy: A Handbook for the Mental Health Practitioner (4th edition). New York: Springer.
  79. Zamperini A. & Menegatto M. (2013). La violenza collettiva e il G8 di Genova. Trauma psico-politico e terapia sociale della testimonianza. Psicoterapia e Scienze Umane, XLVII, 3: 423-442. DOI: 10.3280/PU2013-003002.
  80. Zamperini A. & Menegatto M. (2015). Giving voice to silence: A study of state violence in Bolzaneto prison during the Genoa G8 Summit. In: D’Errico F., Poggi I., Vinciarelli A. & Vince L. editors, Conflict and Multimodal Communication. Social Research and Machine Intelligence. London: Springer, 2015, pp. 185-205. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-14081-0_10
  81. Zamperini A., Paoloni C. & Testoni I. (2015). Il lavoro emozionale dell’assistenza infermieristica: Incidenti critici e strategie di coping. Assistenza Infermieristica e Ricerca, 34, 3: 142-148. DOI: 10.1702/2038.22142
  82. Zilcha-Mano S., Mikulincer M. & Shaver P.R., (2011). An attachment perspective on human–pet relationships: Conceptualization and assessment of pet attachment orientations. Journal of Research in Personality, 45, 4: 345-357.

  • Un'insolita interazione col mondo animale. Note in margine a una storia clinica Cesare Secchi, in INTERAZIONI 1/2022 pp.95
    DOI: 10.3280/INT2022-001011

Ines Testoni, Loriana De Cataldo, Un lutto speciale. Delegittimazioni culturali e rappresentazioni della morte nella perdita di un animale domestico in "PSICOTERAPIA E SCIENZE UMANE" 3/2017, pp 413-428, DOI: 10.3280/PU2017-003004