Loss by death

This morning I dealt with a little girl and the death of her dog.  Her mother was whispering so as not to bring the subject up in front of her daughter, which I understand to a point.  However, ignoring what the little girl already knew was not relieving the pain she had in her heart. I could read it on the child’s face. I took her in my arms and hugged her, told her I loved her, and was so sorry she had unexpectedly lost her pet.  She talked of her pet frequently, and how much she loved him.  I told her there would be another little dog for her, and though she would miss her pet, she would have enough room in her heart for another.  It is the way life.  Before I left, she was smiling.  I’ll do the same later this afternoon the Lord willing.  All she needed was comforting, understanding and reassurance, and isn’t it what we all need at one time or another, someone to understand and help you along life’s journey?

“The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there.  Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying unto Him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.  When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, He groaned in the Spirit, and was troubled.  And said, Where have ye laid him?  They said unto Him, Lord, come and see.  Jesus wept.  Then said the Jews, Behold how He loved him!”    John 12:31-36

We cannot protect children from every hurt.  Death is a part of life, and though we deal with children on a level they can understand, they do, and can understand loss.  Not bringing the subject up only hurts them more, for they view it as indifference on our part.

We have all at one time or the other had to face the death of a loved one, in this instance a pet.  Sometimes when we are silent with others in their loss, we perceive it will hurt them if we talk about it.  That is usually is not the case.  Talking about the loved one is part of the healing process.  We can’t bring their loved one back, but we can talk of the life they had with them.  And it’s not to dwell on death all of the time, for it isn’t healthy, but ignoring the fact is not helpful either.  The point is, be a shoulder, be understanding, be comforting and don’t shy away if the person cries.  Crying cleanses and helps us to see things we couldn’t see before.  “Tears are a language of the heart, and where there is a heart, there can be a tear.”  Allow the one who has lost a loved one to talk, and allow silence too.  It is healing, and comforting for them to know someone cares, and is there to help them see their way through their storm.

“When your heart breaks, you got to fight to make sure you’re still alive.  Because you are.  And that pain you feel?  That’s there to remind you that somewhere out there is something better, and that something is worth fighting for.”       ~ Scott

Eileen Light


One thought on “Loss by death

  1. AMEN! And above all be *honest* with the child. It may be a hard call, but the child will remember whether the adults told him the truth about what happened. Not only is honesty important, but taking out *time to listen* to the child pour out his heart is a vital part of the adult/child relationship. The little one’s grief is just as real as an adults.

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