Blog: Riding the Waves of Grief

On grief, resilience, and healing

Talking to your children about the death of your pet

Julianna still tears up when she thinks about her longtime dog Sadie. “I’m embarrassed. Shouldn’t I be over this by now?” she asks three months later. “It’s mainly when the kids ask about her – where did she go, why did you let her die, is the same thing going to happen to you, Mommy? Who will take care of us?” I don’t know what to tell them, especially when I’m all choked up.” She raises a good question: How can we help children deal with the death of a beloved pet? In fact, this can become a teachable moment for both parent and child. Young children don’t understand death the way we do, often seeing it as a temporary condition, as in When will Sadie come back from being dead? They don’t ha

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