Inviting a pet to your home means coming to terms with the fact that someday they’ll leave you. When this happens, the kids are always greatly affected. Hence, it’s essential to talk about pet loss whenever it comes up.
As a parent, it’s best not to evade the conversation. Consider this as an opportunity to prepare your kids for what’s to come. It will be something they need to hear, and the soonest that they know, the better they can cope when the time arrives.
Moreover, as pet ownership continues to rise, several pet owners believe their pets should be given a funeral deserving of their status in the family. After all, pets have been with them through thick and thin and have witnessed all their ups and downs.
That said, a pet crematorium has become in demand, and almost all kinds of pets can be given a proper burial. This has been comforting, especially for pet owners who want to keep their pets close to them even after death. Their pets’ ashes can be stored in an urn, kept at home, or scattered somewhere memorable.
A pet’s death is unavoidable, and when it arrives, dealing with the pain and grief can be overwhelming, especially with children. But there are ways to deal with the loss healthily so the kids can cope well. To help the kids manage pet loss, you can do the following:
- Talk About It
There’s no better way to deal with grief than to talk about it openly. Have an open conversation with your children about the loss, why it was sudden, why it couldn’t be avoided, and what you should do as a family to help each other deal with the overwhelming emotion.
Your children should understand that despite the loss of their furry friend, their family will always be there to cheer them up and be with them. Acknowledging the loss can only be possible if you discuss it as a family. This loss will not be the first and last; surely, they would want to have another pet after this. If they know that inviting a pet to your home comes with a risk like this, the succeeding losses might be easier to bear.
- Hold A Funeral
Pets are considered part of the family. They don’t miss out on important events and have been included in family activities like out-of-town road trips and family pictures. You buy them toys, dress them up, and sometimes they even share your bed! So not having them around on these crucial occasions can indeed be heart-wrenching.
When your pet departs, holding a funeral for them can ease the pain. A funeral where you can lay them in their final resting place can be something you can do in exchange for the love and loyalty they have given you. You can lay them in a casket which you can deck with flowers to make it even more special. Family members can gather around, spend a quiet time of mourning and finally say parting words to put a closure to a life well-lived.
The closure is essential so that you can prepare to move on. You may ask the kids to compose a poem or a letter of tribute that they can read while you honor your beloved pet. This is an excellent channel for them to pour their emotions and remember all the happy memories they shared.
- Create A Memory Book
A memory book with photos and stories of special moments with your dear pet can be something you and your kids can make as you mourn their loss. And once done, you can look at it and relive the happy life they had with you. This memory book will be a permanent part of your family and a treasured memento.
- Honor Them Through Artwork
You can ask your children to make artwork in memory of their departed pet. It can be a watercolor, drawing, painting, sketching, or sculpture. Creating the artwork can be a meaningful activity they can make to remember their furry friend. You can also commission an artist to create artwork that you can display in your home, so you always have something to remember them by.
- Adopt Again
Your departed pet will always hold a special place in your family’s heart. When the time is right, your kids may be ready to open their arms and hearts to another pet that will receive their unconditional love. Think of it as giving another pet a chance to be loved and to have a happy life.
Death may be inevitable, but it’s not the end-all and be-all of life. Considering the tips shared above, you can help your kids manage grief and deal with pet loss. Likewise, you can teach them the value of life for your furry friend—despite being short, they lived it with you and your family. The valuable lessons your kids learned from them and the wholehearted love they shared are far more important. This is something that they would carry with them until they get old.
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