I would hate to think I'm promoting sadness as an aesthetic. But I grew up in not just a family but a town and a culture where sadness is something you're taught to feel shame about. You end up chronically desiring what can be a very sentimental idea of love and connection. A lot of my work has been about trying to make a space for sadness.
My experience, with both my parents, is that grief has a lot of down, sad things, but I was also really emotionally raw, in the first year after each of them passed. Flowers smelled more intensely, my relationships were hotter, and I was more willing to risk. I was going for it a lot more. I was 'unsober' and I wasn't playing by my rules.
I think that animals aren't less intelligent than humans, they're just of a different intelligence. We have five million smell-sensitive cells in our nose, they have two hundred and fifty million - they can smell emotion. They can smell different types of emotion, they just have another type of intelligence.