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mandylorian

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Posts: 1
 #1 
Hello all, 

I'm brand new to this site, and stumbling across in a search, and I'm hoping to find some suggestions.

I had a calico, Patches for most of my life. Five years ago, we had to put her down due to kidney failure. She was 20. She was my best friend, and while it's still hard, I manage to keep my grief manageable - I know it's a process.

The issue is with my 8 year old daughter. She is really, really struggling, even after five years. She was only three when Patches died, and only remembers a few memories of her. But she cries almost every day over the loss. 

It's hard for me, because I want her to be able to come to terms with her grief, but at the same time, I'm trying to remember the great life Patches had, and it makes it hard to move on when my daughter is constantly crying upset about her. 

We've talked about the Rainbow Bridge, and she knows she'll see Patches again. We have two other cats, and they adore my daughter, and she adores them as well. I've told her that Patches would want her to love her other animals, that animals unfortunately have shorter life spans, and everything I can think of to help her cope with losing Patches. She has pictures of them together, we have her ashes in a cat statue on the mantle, and we've made her a garden memorial at my parent's house. 

I'm quickly running out of ideas to console her daily after five years. 

I'm just hoping someone has some suggestions on helping children deal with losing pets??

Thanks so much for reading/listening.  
Missing_Coco

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Posts: 35
 #2 
When my daughter lost her pet rat when he was 8, I got her to draw a picture and make a memory box. We had a funeral for her and kept her pictures in a book.

My dog Coco has recently died and she's (my daughter) 14 now and coping a lot better than when she was younger.
I made sure she took lots of photos when we found out her diagnosis and she made a memorial photo of Coco.

The best thing to do is let her grieve. I understand that it happened awhile ago, but kids have brilliant memories of when they were young.

If your daughter likes art, see if he wants to make a collage or do a drawing or something special that she can keep and remember Patches by.
darwinsthumb

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Posts: 3
 #3 
Hi M,

This is just speculation, and I'll be the first to admit that I know very little about kids, but I wonder if your daughter's grief after all these years has more to do with Death itself. Perhaps she is struggling with the idea that the people and pets she loves will also one day die, and this prolonged grief is how she is expressing that struggle? That said, I'm not sure what could help her work through this. Perhaps there are books or ideas out there on how to help kids cope with death? Sorry I can't offer something more, but I hope she starts to feel better soon.
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