I know somebody can relate to this and the thoughts and feelings that come afterwards.
Why was I so afraid to let her know the fish died? Was it because he was so new to the family? Or was it that I wanted her to be shielded from pain and sadness of losing someone you love. (Okay, it was a few day old fish, but to a 6 year old, it’s a big thing!)
Fast forward, to about 5 years later. My oldest, dearest cat was aging. It was her time and we had to put her down on Valentine’s.
Together we remembered the moments of her life.
I decided not to tell them until I saw them. Six long weeks I kept the secret that their pet died. It was awful and they were very angry at me for it. On the ride home they asked how he was and I finally had to break it to them. I pulled off of our route just because they were so upset; I could see they needed hugs and some comforting. They cried a lot, it was their kitten they lost this time, not Mommies.
When a pet dies it’s hard to determine how to tell a child.
I’ve done it differently every time and the truth is, there is no way which is easiest.
Then there’s the question of whether the pet should be replaced.
I’ve never thought that it was the thing to do.
Until shortly after we lost our one year old cat. We decided to adopt. And as much as it seemed that it may have filled a void, which I originally thought would be bad for the kids, I believe that it was actually good for them!
Because it wasn’t the cute and cuddly new pet that was filling the void for them; but the random act of kindness that made a difference and knowing for a fact that if our cat was still alive, we would have never been able to save this one’s life.
It gave an answer to the question we kept asking, ‘Why did this have to happen?’
The day we took this animal in it was literally on its way to the humane society to be put down….
Our life has never been the same since.