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I am a Newbie, Please Tell Me What TO DO... about Our Loss!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I am in a terrible situation. I have two children, one boy who is 10-years-old & one girl who is 6-years-old (she just turned six).

We had two pets, a Boxer puppy (male) and a female cat (had her for 7 years)

Back at the end of August 2008, we bought our Boxer puppy (my kid’s first dog). They loved that dog and played with it a lot. We all got very attached to that little pistol in a very short amount of time.

Well, I got married on November 22nd this year. That same day, our puppy got out of the gate and was hit by a car within 30 minutes! It was the strangest thing, because we got married right up the street from our home, and had to hurry out the door to the wedding while our dog was still out. We were actually 30 minutes late to our own wedding, because we were looking for the dog! When we got back and began to look for him again, we found him dead. He had been hit by a car and we were gone a total of 30 minutes from our home (and yes we actually had a real wedding that fast).

I read a lot of information on the net about how to help children cope with death. The majority of the information I read said to be honest, brief, and answer all questions. I did this with both children. My son actually told me that he wished I “hadn’t told him the truth”. He said he would have rather believed that our dog ran away. My daughter is having issues worrying about dying since then. I’ve had to reassure her, comfort her, and tell her that that is not going to happen to her.

Well, guess what happens today? We find our cat (We’ve had her for 7 years) dead under the house:. She likes to lie under there, and apparently it was a spontaneous death (possible cardiomyopathy, kidney failure, or blockage). Needless to say, I am just devastated! The last time we saw her was December 22nd (weird, one month to the day we lost our dog). She never stays gone more then a day from the house, so come Tuesday the 23rd, I still can’t find her. I had heard a screech during the night outside our window on the 22nd, but assumed it was just the cats messing around like they normally do (our neighborhood has many cats, and she made friends with them all. (We only had one cat, her. She was awesome). My husband just found her today, after I posted fliers 3 days ago and hadn’t heard a thing from anyone. She was a smart cat, and I knew she hadn’t been hit. I told him to check under the house beneath our room, and sure enough there she was (I’ve had a lot of cats, and they always stay near and hide when they die). I am very upset, because out of all the cats I’ve had she was THE MOST special.

Now, I don’t know what to do. How am I going to explain this to my children? I am worried to death about it, and just can’t imagine telling them their cat is dead too! It’s only been a month since we lost the dog, and my son is still mourning his loss and visiting his grave. I also feel it’s important to add that my kid’s father was in a terrible car accident in June of 2005. That accident left him in a semi-conscious state due to brain injury….so they lost their father three years ago too! I really need some advice, so please help me if you can. Before you ask, yes they see a psychologist. He is actually the head of psychology at a major medical college. He is fantastic, but I need some immediate advice. It’s the holiday season, and they already overheard me talking about the cat missing. They are going to want to know…

I know this spill was long, and I appreciate you reading all of this. If you can offer some advice please do.
post #2 of 4
My best advice is to tell the truth about your cat's death. What else can you do? Death is a part of life and unfortunately you've had too much of it in a short time. I'm so sorry. The children will express their grief hopefully and it will take time for the grief to abate. You can help them express it by suggesting letters to the diseased cat and dog about how much they loved them, what they remember most about them and how they will miss them. They can also draw pictures of the missing animals and the special times they had with them. They will be upset and will cry and be sad. All this is normal and they need to do it to get past it. You too can express your grief to them and share it.
We, too had 2 dogs and a cat who died and the children were young like yours and missed them terribly. The second dog and cat died within a couple of months of each other and we all grieved together as a family.
I'm so sorry for you loss.
One more thing, we got Christmas ornaments that were cat and dogs that looked like ours but with halos and angel wings. The kids kissed them and hung them on the tree every year in memory of the animals and each had photos of themselves and the animals.
post #3 of 4
Please tell them the truth. My parents lied to me about our cat when I was 8 and I am still irriated by that.

Maybe tell them about how "it always happens in threes"? Run out and get a new pup or kitten, I just saw on tv how that is the best way to get over the loss of a pet (weird to me but whatever).

Good luck, that has gotta be tough.
post #4 of 4
I agree w/ pp's about the truth...also, there is a book called 'How to Say It' Kids that goes through all sorts of topics from your littles to your teens. I personally don't agree w/ every detail of the book though it's a good starting point and should give you ideas that you can express using your own views.
I am sorry your family has experianced so much tragedy...we lost our dog just over a year ago. We also have the rottie angel on our tree and for dp last year I made him scrapbook type wall hangings with pics of Demona & various family members. It really seemed to help the family (we have two dc, almost 9 & 3) to have those things. It was also quite cathartic for me. s to you momma....best of luck!
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