What (not) to do when your family pet dies

I think I scaled new parenting heights today. I really think I surpassed myself.

Actually that’s all lies I did a shocking job of trying to break the news to my little boy that Honey Bunny had passed away.

So being a reflective type here is my parental wisdom on what not to do when your family pet dies!

1)Tell your child whilst you’re putting teething gel in their mouth.

I was advised by a friend to just tell them whilst they were busy doing something else. I don’t think she meant whilst I was putting teething gel in his mouth, but I was so nervous about telling him that it just came out.

2)Compare your pet to chicken or any other meat you may eat.

I can only think that I was trying to normalise the experience by saying “chickens die and they’re animals but we eat them so we’re not that bothered but we love our pets”.

3)Use the phrase “put to sleep”.

I only said it once and regretted it. I quickly then said that she died, then tried to over compensate by saying a few times that she’d died which I truly believe prompted the following conversation:

Granny  “Honey’s gone to a better place now”

Big Pig ” no she hasn’t, she’s dead”

4)Forget to read the leaflets that the vet gives you before telling your children.

They’re actually quite informative and probably would of stopped me from carrying out any of the above!

5)Plan the memorial a little better.

The receptionist at the vets suggested that we send a balloon up to the sky in memory of Honey. I told Big Pig and he wanted to do it straight away. He chose an orange balloon because Honey liked carrots, he drew a picture of himself and a carrot and I wrote how much we all loved her. We then went to a hill just a short distance from our home. He wanted to say a few words,  it was so cute. Then we let the balloon go and it popped!! He burst in to tears, the utter ridiculousness of the whole day sent me in to a state of hysteria and I got the giggles and had to pretend I was crying.

So there you go. We’re off to buy a helium balloon tomorrow.

My sister in law has saved the day and has ordered us a book called Badgers Parting Gift which will hopefully undo any of the permanent trauma I have caused my child!

I really did try to do my best today but my best sucked. I can only blame me loving him so damn much that I didn’t want to upset him. So as per usual I over thought everything I was going to say and do, when in fact I should have just read the bloody leaflet and kept it simple!!

Mission Mindfulness

4 comments

  1. Ugh! It is so hard! We had to put both of our pugs down within four months of each other. So much loss for us adults to absorb. I was and still can be, a blithering fool when I talk about them. And it took me well over a year to be able to have this beautiful little furball of a rescue dog (part pug) in my lap, as I type. We all still cry over Atticus and Eli, but Gatsby has helped to make our house a home. Go easy on yourself. Death is such a tough topic for humans of all ages! xoxo #thesatsesh

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  2. The comment about the balloon made be laugh (sorry – I know that’s a bit inappropriate) as that’s the sort of thing that would happen to me. I have a vision of you covering up your giggles and pretending they are sobs which also made me smile. I hope the kids got over the loss of Honey. Have you succumbed and bought another rabbit yet? When our cat died a couple of years ago, we ended up getting not just one replacement but 2! #thesatsesh xx

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  3. Oh I’m so sorry. It is really difficult to think straight and manage your child’s grief when you’re trying to work through your own. I hope the balloon tribute goes better tomorrow (P.S. please can you add the linky badge) #blogcrush

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  4. #thesatsesh Aunties to the rescue! lol, we learn through trial and error…mainly errors lol, so enjoy the purchase of the helium balloon and I hope therapy won’t be necessary 😉 Although I agree with your message using the right words and creating a safe space is essential to limiting trauma x Sorry for your families loss

    Liked by 1 person

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