Thursday, August 18, 2011

R.I.P. Cuddles

We had a tragedy at our house last night. Cuddles ran into the street and was run over. Now while I may not have formed any sort of lasting connection to the kittens, Camden and Rory most certainly have. Camden was just distraught, and it was pitiful to have him crumble into my arms and sob and sob and then finally try to pull it together. Rory kinda pretended to be sad, but we quickly learned she just didn't understand what had happened. When it dawned on her that Cuddles was actually dead, she was inconsolable. I'm talking sobs that wracked her body so hard she couldn't breathe. It was honestly one of the hardest parenting moments we've had. Our kids are lucky enough that this is the first real grief they've suffered, but there was nothing we could do to make them feel better. Camden said, "I just wish you could make her undead." and then proceeded to tell us he was going to need to take a box of kleenex to bed with him because of all the tears (which is sad but made me smile at the same time). After they were finally in bed and the tears seemed to have slowed down, Brian and I both said it's the first time we've been tempted to tell them a lie. Cause honestly the easy thing to do would have been to tell them that cat would be waiting for us in heaven (and if you believe that, it's totally fine - we just don't). Because did I mention the first words out of Rory's mouth were, "but animals can't go to heaven so where is she?" Apparently, she'd had this conversation with someone else before? Not really sure.

Anyway, they're both very sad, and I'm sad because I have never seen them experience grief before and generally as parents we can make things better for our kids, "fix" it in some way. But there's no fixing this. It's just a hard life lesson.



MyEbella aka Kim said...

oh that is soo sad... our kids haven't had that grief yet either and I worry about when it does happen!
now maybe too personal but I would love if you would explain the no pets in heaven? Sad that I don't honestly know my own religion like I should.=(

Kim said...

I am so sorry for your loss! Losing a pet is very difficult! Hugs to all of you today!

Joy said...

I saw Brian's post last night and my heart just broke for the kids. I hope Camden and Rory are feeling a little better this morning.

We kinda stretched the truth a bit when we had to have our dog put down before our move last summer. The kids were already moving and leaving grandparents and we just couldn't pile more sadness on them. So we said he was going "somewhere else" (which is kinda true). We don't believe animals go to heaven either, but I'm not even sure telling them that would have helped either. It's so hard to see your babies hurting - especially when it's something that can't be "fixed". So sorry for your loss.

thewonderfulhappens said...

That is super tough! We had to put a very old cat to sleep when Isaac was only 2, and he still talks about the cat almost every day. Sometimes last year, he would even still have crying jags about it. So sorry about Cuddles.

Kimberly Geswein said...

Our explanation on the pets in heaven has just been, "I don't know, sweetie. God works in ways we don't understand, and I just don't really know what happens to pets when they die. But it sure would be nice to see ___ in heaven, wouldn't it? I do know God loves us and cares about us and the things that hurt us... whether that is a pet or something else." We had to give away our puppy due to allergy issues and they have had many questions about when they can see him again. (well... since he's in China.... prolly not anytime soon...)

Kelly said...

I'm so sorry, what a heartbreak for the kids, and for you as parents, too, seeing them so upset. :(

Mayme said...

I am so sorry! I have to say though that if I had to choose, getting run over versus getting taken off by an owl......well, I'm just saying.

I hope today was a little better. It's hard having pets.

Becky said...

You know I am not a huge animal fan either, but my heart just breaks for Camden and Rory and let's just say I shed a tear or two thinking about their devastation over the whole deal.

Christine said...

Oh, my heart is hurting for them right now. I think that witnessing Spencer's grief has been ten times harder than my own grief (and we are grieving pretty hard, trust me) While we do believe in dog heaven, I can understand that not everyone does. We have discussed a "happy place" too that has unlimited amounts of doggy treats, no leashes and fields upon fields to run in. We often discuss things that Roxy would, or would not, want in the happy place. I do feel that being able to talk about it in a positive way has helped Spencer. In other words, we make "dead" an ok thing too. And we also make sure to express that Spencer can feel sad and miss her... for as long as he wants too. (And on some days it's also ok to not miss her too.... and we've had those too, believe me.) Hugs Rory and Camden!!

PS - we thought about lying too... but knew we just couldn't, as tempting as it was!

Elizabeth Frick said...

Oh, this makes me so very sad :(
Poor Cuddles. Poor kids.
So, why no animals in heaven? What about a separate heaven for the animals? :)
Sadly, (or maybe thankfully), our girls have had several experiences with cat deaths. It's a tough one... not only sad but also just hard to explain!
Hope each day gets easier to handle.

Heather of WA State said...

We care for foster kittens from our local Humane Society, and my kids have had their share of saying "goodbye" to kittens who don't make it. The worst is when the kittens have been abused, and we know that they would have lived had some demonic human not injured them.

Anyhow, we've found this kids' book helpful with the grieving, and you might as well. Doesn't speak specifically of heaven, so it's appropriate for all:

Annie B. said...

I had no idea animals don't go to heaven...interesting. Soooo sorry for your loss:( Hugs all around. Tough life lesson for sure.