Mother where is our little dog?
Following the post goodbye pet puppy, I asked the collaboration of the reader Clinical Psychologist Sara Guelha on how best to talk to my children about the death of our little dog:
“The pain associated with the death of a pet from a cerebral and emotional point of view works the same as if it were a person.
It is crucial that they have space to talk about Mati, to see photographs, to mourn her death, giving meaning to the feelings they are trying to manage. On the other hand, it is important to answer all your questions.
They will be able to see Mati through dreams and think of them, it can explain that whenever we think of someone special it is a sign that that person is alive inside us. And that is fine to think about Mati, to miss her, to talk about her.
It does not hurt not to know how to answer some existential questions.
Validate with them that you would also like to know how it would be and stimulate the good memories that lived together with the little dog.
You can talk to the school about this loss so that teachers and educators can help deal with grief.
Suggest activities with them:
- make drawings of Mati
- build a family photo album
- choose a garden or a beach where they can go whenever they miss it, being a symbolic place for mourning
- can adopt / buy another puppy
- talk about emotions: how they feel when they talk about them. Validating your emotions does not hasten mourning and encourages the process of accepting loss.
Finally, be aware of behavior changes that worry you: aggression, apathy, loss of appetite, disinterest for pleasurable activities, sleep disorders. These signs may be related to dysfunctional symptoms and require medical follow-up.”
Thank you, dear Sara, from the bottom of my for the collaboration, and Pau Storch for the editing of the photos.