Helping Your Child Grieve The Loss Of A Pet

Helping your child grieve the loss of a pet

It was a sunny afternoon and I was working on a coffee van
at a festival when my husband text me don’t be mad but I’ve rescued two guinea
pigs!

How could I be mad, the shop said that on one wanted them
because of their age.

They were named Lily and Lola, we have had them for about
two and a bit years now I think and they really are great companions and make
such lovely first pets for children.
 
guinea pig


We upgraded their hutch to a two storey one for them and had
a cage run for them in the garden which we would also bring indoors for them.

However the weekend just gone my husband came in to me and
said I don’t think Lily is very well. I went out to see her. My poor guinea pig
making funny noise when she breathed.

I thought let’s bring her in and see how she goes, when I
held her she seemed to calm and stopped making the noise. I put her back into
the indoor cage with Lola and they cuddled up together.
 
 

Lily has always been the boss and she eats first, Lola gets
what’s left. Lily loved her food so much so it was a concern that she wasn’t
eating.

Around midday I thought she’s not getting better so I called
the vet who told me to bring them up immediately. As I entered the vets office
I took her out of the carrier and placed her down on the table.

I looked at her and said oh my god, she’s gone. It was too
late, my poor Lily had passed away next to Lola in the car on the way to the
vets. I was shocked, it was so sudden. Poor Lola, she was licking her and
nuzzling her head into her as if she was encouraging her to wake up.

I decided to bring Lily home rather than have her cremated
so the children could understand and so that they and Lola could say goodbye.
 
Happier Times. Lily and Lola loved cuddling up together.
My daughter kept asking me what did the vet say, I felt so
sad. I didn’t know how to explain death to a 4 and 5 year old.

I told them that sadly Lily hadn’t made it, she had fallen
asleep and wouldn’t be waking up. Uh it is so hard to try to find the right words.
She asked me why and I explained that she was an old lady, she asked me how did
she get old. It was so difficult.

I let them hold her and stroke her before wrapping her up in
a tea towel and placing her in a box, I put Lola in with her for a short while
to help her grieve and understand that she had passed.

My daughter seemed to understand and coped ok my son however
was upset an did cry, and I cried with him.

She was buried in my father in laws garden and the kids put some
flowers on top.

I don’t want my children to linger over her passing so I won’t
mention it again to them now.

Here are my top tips for helping your child grieve over
their loss;

1)   
Be honest about the situation, tell them in
words they will understand about has happened.

2)   
Share your feelings and emotions it may help
them to grieve easier if you do it together.

3)    
If possible allow them to see their pet if they
wish. This may help them understand what has happened and ease the process of
moving on.

4)     
Do hold a burial or memorial allowing them to
say goodbye and get closure.

5)     
Give them the opportunity to ask questions or
express their feelings.

6)   
If your pet does have a cage mate like our
guinea pig allow them to give her extra time out of the cage and allow them to
fuss her this helps with moving on also.

7)     
Don’t dwell on the situation longer than needed
 
 
Now we have just Lola and we will make sure that she has plenty of cuddle time with us.
 

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