When children experience the death of a family pet, it is usually the first traumatic event of their young lives. Bonds between children and animals are great and should not be trivialized or ignored. Children are deeply affected by the death of a pet. It is important to talk to your children about their feelings and let them know you are feeling heartache as well.
There are certain activities that will help encourage your child's expression of grief.
1. Have a backyard memorial service for your pet. 2. Your children can write a note to their pet, attach it to a helium balloon and send it up to Heaven. It is amazing how healing this simple act can be for you or your child. 3. Decorate a garden paving stone in memory of their pet. 4. Drawing pictures or writing stories, about their pet, can release their feelings. 5. Make a photo album or scrapbook. Write about all the special, as well as, funny things your pet did. 6. Make a memory box. Decorate a shoebox and put the pets collar, tags and toys in it. 7. Have a photograph of your pet put in a frame, to keep the pet's memory alive. 8. Plant a tree, plant some flowers or put a statue of an angel in the pets favorite place in your yard. 9. Talk about your pet, when he first came to the family, how hard he was to train and the funny habits he developed.
There is no way to rush the healing process. In time, the pain will lessen and your family will be able to look back and smile at the good memories of your pet.
Websites to visit if you have lost a pet : www.rainbowbridge.com and www.indigo.org/rainbowbridge_ver2.html