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Helping DD deal with loss of pet

(6 Posts)
confusedandemployed Tue 22-Mar-16 08:33:26

We lost our beloved old dog on Sunday. I am utterly bereft, feel like my guts are ripped out. The only thing keeping me going is being strong for DD (3yo) and my other dog, who has lost his litter mate after nearly 14 years of total togetherness.

DD initially kept saying she was sad because she wanted DDog back but now she's crying piteously over the silliest things. This morning it was because she wanted to stay in her pyjamas forever, and because she needed a phone confused.

I know it is grief, but I'm not sure how to deal with it. It doesn't help that I'm a wreck myself but should I get her to talk about DDog or just let her fixate about these silly things which she seems to be using to deflect?

I knew I would be broken by DDog's death but I honestly didn't expect DD to react so badly.

pippistrelle Tue 22-Mar-16 13:47:58

It's a big loss, and a hard thing to deal with, OP.

The thing is your daughter is only very little and probably doesn't have much concept of what's happened, or any vocabulary for it. Age-appropriate books might help, and I know that Judith Kerr's Goodbye Mog is very highly regarded.

babyboomersrock Tue 22-Mar-16 14:29:32

I'm not sure it is grief, OP. At her young age - especially given her initial reaction - small children can be quite accepting of death.

It's only my feeling, but it's possible she's sensing that you're distraught and that's what's really upsetting her. She's going to feel pretty anxious if you're "a wreck" as you say.

I do understand. I know how devastating the loss of a pet can be, especially when you've had him for so long. But I'd try to keep things lighter with your dd - go and have a cry somewhere by yourself (if possible) and be as matter-of-fact as you can when you're around her. Don't assume it's grief, in the adult sense - it's more likely to be confusion and anxiety. Cuddles all round, I think.

And I'm so sorry you've lost your beloved dog flowers

pippistrelle Tue 22-Mar-16 14:44:58

I agree that grief may not be what is actually happening, but she will be picking up on your distress, and missing your dog too, I imagine.

confusedandemployed Wed 23-Mar-16 06:58:36

Thanks. I'm not sure I meant grief in the adult sense, but I take your points.

She was better after nursery yesterday but had a wobble at bedtime. She'll be OK I'm sure.

Catnuzzle Wed 23-Mar-16 07:04:34

And you will be too in time flowers

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