Preparing My Kids For the Death of Our Other Family CatDevan McGuinness
Less than 2 months ago, I had to tell my children that our cat, who they’ve know their entire life, had passed away.
Now, I am having the conversation again with them as we prepare to say goodbye to our other cat, 15-year old Ming-Ming. His health has been failing and he won’t last to the weekend and having to explain this all over again to the kids has not been easy.
When Puff died, the kids were so worried about how Ming-Ming would handle things. They could tell his sadness when he searched the house looking for his companion and stared off into space. We tried all we could to make his grief easier and I knew deep down that he wouldn’t last much longer with out Puff.
This morning, when the kids woke for school, they found me in my room cuddled on the bed with Ming. Raru asked if he was okay — they’ve known that he has not been feeling well — and I had to be honest with her and tell her that no, he wasn’t okay.
I could almost literally see her heart sink. She’s such a compassionate child and asked if it would be okay if she touched him just for a moment. I let her know that would be okay and she took her moment to say goodbye.
I know the kids have been worried about him, but they’ve known both Ming and Puff their entire lives. There were here at the house greeting them when they were first born and have been by their side, watching over them ever since. It’s going to be strange for me too — I’ve had Ming since I was 16 years old and it’s boggling my mind thinking that, in less than 2 months they are both gone from my daily life.
I wish I didn’t have to have this talk with the kids — would be nice to shelter them from grief and death, but life tends to have different plans. I am thankful they had the opportunity to say goodbye to him before he leaves this world.
Photo credit: © Devan McGuinness
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