Pets are not only animals that live with us, pets are part of our family and, whether they are with us or not, they will always be part of our lives. When a pet comes into our lives, the time that is by our side will be teaching us great things and also, it will be giving us the greatest gift: unconditional love. Children connect with pets differently than adults, and the pain they feel at their loss is also very real.
Many children experience the death of their pet as the first significant loss of a loved one and although they do not show their emotions or feelings like adults, that does not mean that they do not also feel pain at the death of their precious pet. They also feel the loss and need the help of the adult to be able to deal with those feelings in their heart.
When a pet leaves, whatever the circumstances, it will always leave a big hole in the lives of the people who lived with it. And yes, grief is also passed over a pet … Because the emotional pain felt is very hard, they are loved, respected and missed when they are no longer with us.
The anger, the sadness, the pain … your child will witness all this, do not try to hide it. Emotions should not be hidden, they should be our teachers. Emotions help us channel all the whirlwind of emotions we feel and give meaning to what our heart expresses. Sometimes adults can feel upset when they try to make sense of their own pain and at the same time need to know how to comfort their children as well.
Pets Are Part Of The Family
For children, pets are part of their family. They feel they are an integral part and are important to them. Children have a great connection with their pets, they feel like friends, like ‘furry’ brothers. They are undoubtedly your companions as they grow. There is research that states that children between the ages of 6 and 13 understand that pets live a short time compared to people.
But even being aware of this, the pain at the loss of a pet can be so great that they feel renouncing to accept their departure. Your kids will ask you why they can’t see their pet again. Also, children who suffer the loss of their pet in a traumatic or unexpected way, it is more difficult to reconcile the feelings of loss.
Get Over Loss
Your children need to know the truth, do not paint death as something beautiful, do not tell them that their pet has gone to a better place, because for your child it would be an emotional abandonment. The truth is the best way for your child to trust you later. His body has stopped working and when a body stops working it cannot be seen anymore, because it disappears.
But that does not mean that the pet ceases to exist, because it is in the hearts of the people who have loved it. If your child is very young, you can also tell him that his pet has died, but that it is as if he has become a star… In this way, he will be able to remember it every night.
You may be tempted to cover that pain with another pet quickly, but it is best to wait to overcome the grief and that the feeling towards the pet is always from the affection and gratitude for all that it contributed to you in life. And after this, then you can think of another pet … But no other pet will erase the memories of the first one.