4 Resources for Kids Dealing with Pet Loss
For most parents, kids dealing with pet loss is one of the first of a family’s encounters with grief. We do our best to protect our children, but the cycles of mother nature are difficult to keep at bay. Pets move on, and there is nothing we can do to stop it. We must move forward.
Our children often have deep bonds with our animals, and explaining death to them is a delicate subject for many. While there are many resources for adults dealing with pet loss, few are available for children.
Below are 3 resources that we believe are helpful for children dealing with pet loss.
1 – Cat Heaven
Cat Heaven by Cynthia Rylant is a joyous celebration of a cat’s journey after a happy life on Earth by Newbery Medalist Cynthia Rylant. “The way to Cat Heaven is a field of sweet grass, where crickets and butterflies play!” With a gentle, playful rhyme, Newbery Medalist Cynthia Rylant explores all the ways our beloved cats enjoy Cat Heaven, as she did for dogs in the bestselling companion book, DOG HEAVEN. Her shining artwork illustrates a world of peace for cats in Heaven, where no tree is too tall for exploring, where there is no lack of angels’ laps for sleeping. If your child wonders where his or her kitty goes after a happy life on Earth, they can rest assured that all cats “know where the angel cats fly. They’ll run past the stars and the moon and the sun . . . to curl up with God in the sky.”
2 – Grief Pets
Created by a Marriage and Family Therapist, Grief Pets is a kit that provides children with a plush companion animal and writing journal. Available in both dog and cat, the stuffed animal holds a photo of your lost pet. It also “has a zippered belly compartment that holds a microwaveable heat pack to help calm and soothe the griever and nurture the soul. The heat pack will also give weight and fullness to the griefPets.”
Many pet parents also add their pet’s collar to the plush to personalize the item for their child.
Grief Pets provide a tactile and personal experience to help your child deal with their grief.
There are many books available to help children understand the loss of their pet. One of our favorites is The Rainbow Bridge: A Visit to Pet Paradise by Adrian Raeside. Published in 2012, this book has been a longtime favorite of parents and veterinarians alike.
Adrian Raeside captures the special bond between humans and their pets, and with marvelous illustrations, brings a gentle humour to a story that will resonate with children and pet lovers of all ages.
4 – Memorial Projects
This Psychology Today article lists a number of helpful and family-friendly Memorial Projects to help you and your child grieve the loss of your pet. From lighting a candle to writing down happy memories with your pet, these activities are a beautiful way to remember your pet.
Whether a young child or an older child, we hope these resources help you and your family properly grieve. Visit us at www.kittymemorial.com for jewelry, urns, gravestones and more to help pay tribute to your pet.
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