Help me explain the death of a pet to my ds - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 07-13-2004, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
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We just found out lastnight that FIL's St. Bernard died suddenly. That is sad enough because she was a wonderful dog. What makes me even sadder is my ds (who is 33 months) loved that dog like his own. He always talked about Papa's dog Nellie and often asks at night if Papa and Nellie are going night night too. His first real word was even "Nellie". I am totally heartbroken that I have to try and explain to him in a way that he'll understand that Nellie is gone and not coming back. I know that he'll ask where she is and why isn't she at Papa's house and that just makes me cry because I can see the look on his face . . . . how he won't understand. I really need to tell him though since he will be going back to Papa's for a visit later on this week. I want to be the one to tell him that Nellie has died. Can anyone gve me some advise on how to do this??

DS with Nellie. DS was 6 months old.

This past Memorial day

Than you ladies.
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#2 of 4 Old 07-13-2004, 11:08 AM
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My family always told us "that our friend had died. From now on they would be in heavan. And at night my mom always pointed to the stars and let me know that he/ she was with our other family that had died and was watching us from up there. It was comforting to me and I still enjoy looking into the night sky and remembering when.
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#3 of 4 Old 07-13-2004, 11:14 AM
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It is very hard, but be honest with him. In my experience, children actually "handle" it fairly well. Do a search on the rainbow bridge and read him the story. Tell him Nellie is watching over him and keeping him safe.
Do you think your FIL will get another dog?? With kids, that does take their mind off the loss.
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#4 of 4 Old 07-13-2004, 11:44 AM
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I know how hard it can be, but don't assume your ds won't understand; sometimes kids take it better than we adults do because they don't have a lot of experience with the emotions associated with death.

I can't remember exactly how I first approached the subject of death with my kids, but we revisited it in a painful way (for me) just this weekend. I was backing the car up and I accidentally ran over one of our kittens. I couldn't hide my emotions about it and I didn't want to; I just told them what had happened and that I felt bad about it but the kitten was gone to a good place. My 7 y.o. ds responded with "Mom, it's okay sort of, everything goes in a circle."
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