Today is Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day…
One of the hardest things you may ever have to do as a parent is guide your child through the mysterious maze of grief and loss. When I was a child and I lost a pet, the solution was always to go out and get a new pet to love. And having a new pet to love did help, to a point, but as an adult looking back, I realized that I never learned how to process grief that way. I just postponed it.
As a parent, I wanted my son to learn how to process grief. How to feel it, and heal it, and let go. Intellectually that still feels like the right decision, but emotionally it was heart-wrenching to carry out. My son lost a pet who was very dear to him about four years ago, one that he had raised from a tiny, hairless, blind baby, and the loss of her was devastating to him. Only now has he accepted her death and can talk about his “Nugget” without fresh tears. It took a long time to get here, because grief is not a linear process. It’s complicated and messy. Sometimes just when you think you have healed, something will trigger that pain and it will feel like it just happened yesterday.
If you are taking this journey of loss with your child, mourning a friend who has passed over the rainbow bridge, there are some books that may be helpful. These books about feelings can help your child put a name to the swirling emotions they are experiencing so that they can talk about them. We also have a book about death that can help explain what it is and why it happens. I hope you find these titles useful in your grieving journey, and that you will accept my condolences for your loss.