The loss of a beloved cat, dog, or other pet is always a difficult time, and it can be even more confusing for children. It’s important for the whole family to grieve in their own way, but for children, talking about what’s happened and being open and honest is a vital part of the grieving process. Depending on the age of the children, they may not fully understand what’s happening, but they’ll almost certainly feel sad, confused and sometimes even angry about the loss of their fur-friend.
Finding creative ways to help children grieve their loss can help enormously during the grieving process, so here are a few ideas for children of all ages:
Creative Ways to Help Children Grieve the Loss of a Pet
- Draw a picture of your cat, and display it in your child’s chosen room.
- Frame a photo of your child (or children) and the cat. They might want to keep it by their bed, or in the lounge room – somewhere where they can look at it and remember the good times
- Write a poem about your cat – it can be funny, rhyming or more thoughtful and serious in style.
- Donate money in your cat’s name to your favourite animal rescue organisation.
- Hold a memorial service in your garden. You could plant a flowering tree to remember your cat by, choose a memorial stone to put in the garden, or light a candle, and have every member of the family say a few words about him. Create a place where the family can come to sit, relax and remember your cat whenever they want.
- Make a photo album of your cat, or a collage or photos to hang on the wall.
- Get your children to write your cat’s life story from his point of view – this is a lovely way to remember his life and emphasise how important you all were to him.
- If your family has musical talent, why not write a special song about your cat?
- Create a memory box – your children can decorate the box themselves and put mementoes such as photos, a lock of fur, their brush, their favourite toy etc. inside it.
- Decorate a plant pot with craft supplies and paint, and plant a special plant or flower to grow in it.
- Using clay (or coloured play dough) make a sculpture of your cat.
- Write an ‘acrostic’ about your cat – put the letters of his name down one side of a piece of paper, and write one word or sentence to describe him that starts with each letter.
- Make a scrapbook that contains photos, drawings and anything else that you can remember him by.
- Use your cat’s favourite blanket to make a stuffed toy for your child, depending on their age they can get involved in the process of making it.
- Name a star after your cat – you get a certificate confirming your star, which your child can frame and hang in their room.
- Purchase a piece of memorial jewellery that you can personalise with your cat’s name or engrave with a few special words.
May the pets you have lost, remain forever in your heart!
How have you helped your children cope with the loss of a beloved pet? What other creative suggestions do you have to help kids cope during the grieving process?
Image: FED x via Flickr