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May. 21st, 2010 @ 10:58 pm Oh do I have a problem.
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Who does she think she is?
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Date:May 22nd, 2010 03:42 am (UTC)
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I ache for you on this one, especially because you're grieving yourself but must focus on making the transition as easy as possible for V.

I know there are people who don't agree with me on this, and that's fine, but I'm a big believer in being child-led in difficult situations. Some kids won't comment much on the absence of a pet at her age, but you know she will. It helps that she's aware of what's going on with them- it's great that you've worked with her on that.

Consider telling her that they were feeling so sick, or were in so much pain, that they were miserable, and it was your job as a pet parent to take them to the doctor. The doctor said they couldn't make them better anymore, and helped your pets go to sleep so they wouldn't be miserable. She's likely to ask if they'll wake up like my son did. I told him that this was a forever sleep, where there'd be no more pain. Mine accepted that, although I was prepared for him to ask about kissing them to wake them up because we were big into fairy tales at the time. He didn't ask.

Later, when he was 4 or 5, my grandfather died and in discussing it, he asked if he'd gone to sleep. His questions at that point led to him connecting the "sleep," death, and people, and it went pretty well. His sister didn't register death- even when it happened- until she was four. When she figured out that we all would die one day, including me, she sobbed off and on for more than a week. Ultimately, I'm glad things went a different way with the second one.

I'm very sorry that you're dealing with this, though, and I know it's hard. Hang in there.
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