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Storytelling as a way to heal from pet loss

  • Posted by: claire

We’ve been missing Casey lately. It’s been almost 9 months since she passed away. We spent a lot of time preparing Kayman, our four year old for the transition. We spent time reading books, talking, having her take part in the caring of Casey towards the end. When we gave Casey her Sub Q injections, we explained how it helped flush out her kidneys and how hers were no longer working. The last day before the vet visit, we set time aside for a family good-bye, complete with walks, talks, and hugs for her other four legged “sister” Lulu.  We talked about death in simple terms. We did not skirt around the topic. There was no talk of the dog “going away” or “going to the farm”. 

A Final Walk With Casey
Kayman and Casey Saying Goodbye

Since then, we’ve drawn pictures of the family, now with Casey up in the clouds looking down from rainbow bridge.

Family Chalk Album with Casey in the skies looking down

We have also been telling stories about Casey. Our memories of her, favorite things she liked to do, treats, etc. This has been a very healthy way for her to process her feelings and emotions. It is also a great way to reinforce the physicality of death, what it means for humans and animals. Even as Kayman misses Casey on certain days, she realizes that Casey will remain in our hearts. 

If you find yourself having to tell a wee one about a loved one or a pet who is transitioning, honesty and simple words go along way. This morning, we talked about Casey as she got ready for school. Here’s what she had to share, even in missing, we have LOVE.  Please feel free to share with parents who might have to tell their wee ones about loss, or sign up for our newsletter for more insights delivered to your inbox. 

 

Author: claire

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