It was a sad day in our house today! My little girl and I walked to the park and had a great time. She saw beautiful butterflies and talked about how she loved nature. When we got home, she went to feed her fish. First, she fed Molly then went to Strawberry. Strawberry was at the bottom of her bowl not moving. My heart skipped a beat. She started screaming into the bowl. Strawberry was dead! As a parent, I could either take this time to talk about the facts of life or lie. I picked the hard choice. I looked in the bowl and said Strawberry is dead. There was no easy was to say it. I held her and let her cry…. she screamed and cried. It broke my heart. She was hysterical and I was heartbroken for her knowing unfortunately, it was the first of many heartbreaks.
When she settled down, I asked her if she wanted me to flush him or bury him. She wanted to bury him. So, we picked a bush she could see through her bedroom window. I dug a hole and put Strawberry in. She wanted to cover him, so I handed her my little hand shovel and let her. I said a prayer and she said, “Amen.”
She couldn’t concentrate on school, didn’t want to go to Taekwondo. When she didn’t stop crying and didn’t want to go to Taekwondo, that’s when it came to me this was just gonna be a hard day. So, we snuggled in bed and talked. I asked her to tell me how she felt, I allowed her to talk and cry. We turned on YouTube and watched a couple of videos about children grieving over their pets, so she knew she was not alone. We snuggled and talked. I know it’s a long road ahead, I explained to her the pain will always be there but will dissipate over time.
Good luck to parents since explaining death and grieving to little ones is never easy. There are many wonderful books I read to her about children whose pets have passed away. One of my favorites was Up in Heaven by Emma Chichester Clark.
July 21, 2019- October 15, 2019