My best friend was the passenger in a car driven by her husband, they were on their way home from his parents' place. They hit a raccoon on the road.
She's been terribly upset ever since. It happened a few days ago. She works for the animal shelter, has 4 cats, and fosters animals.. she loves animals more than humans and feels as bad as most would if they had hit a person.
I don't know what to say to her. I've tried researching online, but can find nothing to help with getting over hitting an animal.
To make matters worse, she's bipolar and this has set her into the beginning of a downward spiral. I need to help her somehow, but this seems to be out of my scope and nothing I say is making it better enough.
if anyone has any advice on how to deal with the guilt of hitting an animal, I would really appreciate it.
Guilt is the most negative of emotions , and yet perhaps you are buying into her emotional playing field a little too deeply. Maybe......she is a little too emotionaly addicted to a little attention. Bi -polars are a complicated people. Not offence intended whatsoever ! My experience with one or two I have known is alot of life tends to be "about them".And , Not always true. I would try to encourage her dropping the guilt thing ! A friend of mine once told me "Guilt is interest paid , on a dept not due." I dont know anyone who has driven much at all who hasen't hit an animal in the night or day time either. And maybe ....this whole thing isn't really about the racoon.....?
I can understand how your friend feels, as I too like animals better than humans, because they are genuine and in many ways more civilised than the human animal. You should remind your friend that she was not the person driving, so she hasn't killed the animal, and that it was an accident, which her husband would have done all he could to avoid, if he could have. Also, perhaps helping her to realise, that there are many animals killed on the roads, which although very sad, they are all accidents. Also assure your friend that the animal would have died very quickly, especially when compared with other more prolonged ways animals can die in the wild. And lastly, remind her of all the good she does for the animal shelter, so although she had nothing to do with the killing of the raccoon, she does have a direct positive result on the animals she cares for.
Where I live, over half of raccoon deaths are from untreated rabies. In addition, many of the wild animal deaths in my area are diseased animals that have somehow had their survival instincts muddled (some have holes in their brains upon necropsy, which may be a form of prion disease). So it's likely the animal would otherwise have died a much worse death, only a few days later.
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