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If your child is very young begin by telling him that his pet is very ill. Find a story about pet loss that is age appropriate.
Answer his questions briefly, but to the point, giving him only information that is not too technical. Have a small ritual for saying good bye to your pet. This will help him grieve.
Emphasize that your pet had a lot of love and care when he was alive and explain that your pet does not hurt when they are dead. This should comfort him.
It's possible that he will not completely comprehend what you are telling him, but your conversation will comfort him because he trusts you.
If you want to put up a picture of your pet for a while after it dies, your child will be able to see the picture and interact with it, this is a psychological step between having the pet there and its disappearance from his life.
By breaking up the transition into smaller steps your child will absorb more and easier for him. Pretty soon the memories will replace some of the sadness drawing pictures of his pet or writing stories about the good times you had with it…. , I went and made a collage for her, which I look at when I'm missing her. I've also had a few dreams about her and this lets me know she's still in my heart, even though she's no longer with us 'A young boy went with his parents to be with the family dog when the dog was put to sleep. Everyone was saying how sad it is that animals don't live longer. The young boy said he knew why, 'We are all put here on earth to learn how to love and get along with others. Animals already know how to love, so they don't have to spend as long here as we do. So they go to heaven sooner.' From: Chicken Soup for the Soul.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|