Help not to break down and explain to toddler re dog being pts

(4 Posts)
TitianaTitsling Tue 18-Feb-20 21:52:16

Apologies as this will be a ramble as so distraught. Our beloved dog is sadly so ill that we are having to make that final visit Tomorrow morning, ddog is 16 and unable to keep their feet- lab and back end is gone. Lots of other health issues too, countless vet visits and meds, meloxicam and other pain meds, I don't know how we explain this to our 3 year old, how much do we say/not say.. I can't think or talk about it without crying and am worried I'm being dramatic and over emotional (having seen previous aibu threads) and l'm going to damage DC, by not being blunt and honest, how do l explain death to a 3 to?

OP’s posts: |
HeidiPeidi Wed 19-Feb-20 02:43:18

Brief but honest would be my advice. It really depends on how much your 3yo is likely to understand, I know 3 of mine would have understood basic facts about death at that age, the other 2 would have really struggled to comprehend it. We lost a dog when my eldest was 4, I avoided using words such as ‘went to sleep’ or ‘gone to be a star in the sky’ etc as I didn’t want to confuse her or have her fearful of falling asleep or having an anaesthetic (she had a health condition requiring several surgeries and the doctors would often say they were going to ‘send her to sleep’). I explained that he was old and his body had become tired and wasn’t working properly, I told her that he was in a lot of pain and that he wasn’t in that pain anymore. I made sure she saw me cry (but not too much - difficult balance!) and that she knew it was ok to feel sad and to cry. I didn’t tell her he was in heaven or anything but when she asked where he was now I asked what she thought and she decided that heaven was the place. We talked about him often and planted a small tree in the garden, which we marked with a wooden plaque that she painted and we varnished (we’d had a paw print taken from maverick and we copied this onto the plaque over her paint job, along with her handprint). It was a lovely reminder of him and even now that she’s older, she’ll go and sit by ‘him’ to read or sunbathe etc.

It’s difficult, I really feel for you. Sending love and hand holds for tomorrow ❤️

Igmum Wed 19-Feb-20 03:45:43

Yes brief but honest. My DD was just gone 4 when my dad died. TBH having her really helped with my grief. Kids process things very differently to adults. There's a very good Mog book on dealing with loss you could read to them. Handhold here too and so sorry for your loss OP thanks

TitianaTitsling Wed 19-Feb-20 17:44:00

Thanks, it's been a really hard day and have horrific guilt, but know deep down that we have done the hardest thing for us, but the best thing for ddog.

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