A few years ago we lost our dear poodle, Cuddles. Sunshine was only 2, and many people told us she'd never even remember the dog. However, 3 years later she still talks sweetly about her as if she died only a few days ago.
Many times the loss of a pet is the first experience with death that a child is exposed to. They grasp at the concept of death and its permanence. They question the fragility of life and sometimes ask questions like "well when will you die?" And "if I get sick will I die?"
Parents struggle to look through their own grief and help answer these questions while comforting and ensuring that their child has a healthy place to grieve.
Today I shared with Sunshine the sad news that one of her best friend's cat passed away. She knew and remembered the kitty. She's a cat person after all. So she cried a little for poor Loretta, then she asked to send a care package to her friend.
Inside was a boo boo bunny she made. To help her friend's heart feel better.
Two Twizzlers, which I think is the childhood equivalent of wine.
And a solid piece of heartfelt advice.