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Mums dog has died, How to explain to children?

(9 Posts)
Clarabumps Fri 25-Mar-16 11:47:49

My mothers dog has died through the night. She lives in Wales and we're in Scotland so we don't see it that often but the kids love her. We see her on FaceTime a few times a week. Kids are 8, 7 and 3. We can't have a dog as DP has allergies so they totally love spending time with her.
Ds(7) has ASD and would throw the ball for her for ages(poor dog). This is the first time we've ever encountered death so I'm apprehensive about dealing with it correctly.
Its so sad. Every year Ds1 wishes Dp wasn't allergic to dogs when he blows out his birthday candle.
I'm a bit upset myself as she was a lovely gentle wee lady. I really don't think I can face telling them today but I'd appreciate any advice with how to approach this.

Urgh. I hate this.

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 25-Mar-16 14:02:42

You need to use the word death and I usually explain that the body was broken and couldn't work anymore.
Children, even those on the spectrum are often very factual and practical at this stage. Prepare yourself for questions about where they have gone and what happens to the body. Explain that being sad is entirely mural,

Wolfiefan Fri 25-Mar-16 14:04:38

Ill and couldn't be made better again so the dog died.
Don't use phrases like put to sleep. It's tempting to try and soften it but they need clarity.

OrlandaFuriosa Fri 25-Mar-16 14:18:08

Body got worn out. The love that they all feel and felt, dog included, is real.

If they ask if there is heaven for dogs, I would say, no- one knows, but some people think there is a happy hunting ground for them, where they can finally catch that rabbit.

If you have Christian beliefs, you can say Jesus knew about dogs, and God who notices when a sparrow falls would certainly notice a loving dog.

Clarabumps Fri 25-Mar-16 18:58:11

Not religious at all so I was going to just say they live on in your head in your memories. Ds seems to understand memories after the film inside out so I think he will be able to process that.

I find it quite hard as I was brought up Catholic and I'm now atheist. When I was small everything was explained with Heaven or God did it. It's hard trying to find gentler factual answers. I suppose children are more resilient than I give them credit for.
These are exactly the kind of thing I was going for so Thank You.
I'm going to tell him when he comes in from his other Grans in 10 minutes. There's no right time to break this news really.

OrlandaFuriosa Fri 25-Mar-16 21:51:07

Just avoid the sleep thing. That way lies fear at bed time. Ditto tiredness.

Clarabumps Sat 26-Mar-16 09:30:07

I told them all. It went okay actually. Dd1 had a wee cry. DS2 (asd) was very matter or fact about it and understood that she was gone. Dd was just said she had gone away to play with her friends.
It went well considering. Thank you for all your help.

OrlandaFuriosa Sat 26-Mar-16 19:10:33

Well done.

Helenluvsrob Mon 28-Mar-16 23:18:49

There was a tipsy and Tim about grans dog dying.

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