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McKinney, K. (2019). Emotion Work of Coping with the Death of a Companion Animal. Society & Animals, 27(1), 109-125.

This study uses qualitative data to explore how guardians cope with the death of animal companions. Respondents struggle with the expectations of a speciesist emotion culture that mediates bereavement following the death of a non-human animal. This struggle reveals four key aspects of emotion work: 1) justifying grief to themselves and others; 2) accepting that the companion animal has died at the “right time”; 3) using rituals, religion, or spirituality to cope; and 4) adopting a new animal companion.

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