Monday, September 13, 2010

Losing a Pet

About a year ago we got Little Miss a pet fish - which she logically named fishy. He was a betta and like all fish, not very hands on interactive. Soon the newness wore off and fishy was really just taking up space and another thing I had to clean on a weekly basis. Little Miss only really paid attention to him when I mentioned him.

Last Saturday morning rolled around and my husband came to inform me that we lost a member of the family - poor fishy got sick and passed on. I asked him to take Little Miss out with him to throw away garbage and recycling while I did the dirty deed of flushing fishy down the porcelain throne.

I'm thinking at 2 years and 4 months she can be spared this part of it...not to mention I didn't want her to have weird feelings about the potty and back-step on her nearly perfect potty training record.

I got rid of all fishy evidence and we waited...waited for her to notice so we could explain. I didn't want to over-dramatize anything by sitting her down for a "talk" about fishy...

Our chance soon came. A friend was over and asked where fishy was...luckily I'd had time to think through what I would say, what would make sense to Little Miss. It went something like this...

"Fishy got sick and went to heaven to live with Jesus. Now he's all better."

We are very religious and talk about heaven and Jesus often at our house. Little Miss also knows that some of her great grandparents are in heaven with Jesus and although we can't see them, they can see us - so I knew this logic would make sense to her.

Since then she has only asked for fishy a few times and I just explain to her again that "fishy was sick and went to heaven - now he's all better and happy with Jesus". She has accepted it quite well.

She even told me that we could sing him songs and that Jesus would take him to the doctor.

Have you had to explain the loss of a pet to your little one? Or the loss of a loved one? How did you do it? How did you help your child cope and understand?

1 comment:

  1. good thinkin'. the first pet i can think of that we lost was newt, but i don't remember it at all. i don't even remember having newt, but i think i was at least 5 when he went. hmm. then various fishies.. but i was older.. and then the other dogs well after i graduated high school. interesting question! hopefully we have a while before we have to cover that one.


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