Do You Have Kids That Are Grieving The Death Of A Pet?

If you have children that are grieving the death of a pet it is important to help them understand what they are experiencing. The first time anyone experiences grieving the death of a pet the feelings may be confusing. Of course the depth of emotions and feelings will be driven by the age of the child and their connection with the pet.

To help your child know it is alright grieving the death of a pet start with showing your own grief. It is okay to cry and express your own emotions when grieving the death of a pet in front of your child. This will teach them a healthy way to express their own emotions.

Having A Dialog

Take time to speak with them about what they are feeling and experiencing while grieving the death of a pet. Ask them specific questions about what they know. Find out if they expect the pet to come back. Talk about the reasons of death. It may be appropriate to keep the discussion strictly on the lost pet or it may be the time to discuss the passing on of older family members and friends that they may encounter in the near future.

Pick a location for the discussion that is safe and neutral. One that allows everyone involved in the talk to express themselves. This location maybe the living room, the backyard, or a park. You can plan ahead for the talk or let it happen when the child is ready to start it. Children will usually ask a question, make a statement or allow you to see them crying when they are ready to process more information on grieving the death of a pet.

Offer Suggestions For Healing

There are numerous ways to express grieving the death of a pet in a healthy manner. Here are some suggestions that you can do with your child who is grieving the death of a pet or they can do them on their own, again depending on their age.

1. Create a memorial in the yard for the pet’s ashes. This is a special place that the child and all family members can enjoy.

2. Create a memorial some place in the house. All of the pet’s belongings can be collected and placed in one area to provide a contemplation area.

3. Create a pet sympathy journal. The one that’s worked for a lot of people in the past is a pet sympathy poems journal, because it includes poems, places for stories, pictures, drawings and other mementos such as ribbons, collar, paw print, etc.

The important piece about any memorial you create is that it is physical, hands on and requires you to think about it. All of these components release built up emotions and energy while providing a constructive outlet for grieving the death of a pet.

After A Week…

It is important to follow up with your child after a period of time. Check in and see how they are adjusting to the loss and if they are still grieving the death of a pet. If needed start the dialog again letting them know that it is alright to mourn and grieve. Maybe a new question or thought has come up and they need to be able to work through another piece of the grieving process.

This is also a great time to bring out the pet sympathy journal again and let the child reconnect with their feelings and lost best friend and maybe even add more poems and stories to it. The goal is to get them to realize it’s fine and natural grieving the death of a pet and a pet sympathy poems journal will help them stay connected to the memory of their pet, while teaching them how to grieve.

About the Author

<u>Christina Garrison</u> helps people recover from the loss of their pet.

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