My 7 year old daughter’s favorite pet Goldfish, Guppy Goop, died last week! It was an emotional day for her while I did my “best” to try to keep the little guy alive. I feel so bad because it was my fault.
I changed the water in her 6 gallon tank. We have 12 Goldfish and 2 Filter Crabs in the tank. The staff at my local PetMart are amazed they are alive at all. For 6 gallons they tell me it’s good for 3 or 4 goldfish at most. We’ve had 12 for the last 4 months, and they are getting big! Turns out when I changed the water, I might have “inadvertently” shocked the fishes’ system…We lost 4 within a half hour of the water change. YES, I added the water conditioner and a tablet to remove other stuff.
My daughter was so upset cause we did not have any photos of Guppy Goop… I tried to console her as best as I could but we lost our digital camera and we could not take any photos that day. This made her even more emotional and me guilty for not having a photo. As a father, I came up with a solution that only a Dad could think of: “FREEZE HIM.” So we deiced together to freeze Guppy Goop till we found our digital and she could say good by in her own way.
I was thinking how my solution would effect my girl’s mourning process. It’s not every day that you tell your child to freeze it’s pet till we can find a camera. So, I went to the best source to answer that question… PsychCental! Whenever I have a question about a mental health subject I always search here first… I’ve done this way before I ever started blogging here.
Well, I found an article By Harold Cohen, Ph.D. about Children and the Death of a Pet.
For many children, their first real experience with loss occurs when a pet dies. When a pet dies, children need consolation, love, support, and affection more than they need complicated medical or scientific explanations. Children’s reactions to the death of a pet will depend upon their age and developmental level. Children 3 to 5 years of age see death as temporary and potentially reversible. Between ages 6 and 8, children begin to develop a more realistic understanding of the nature and consequences of death….Children may experience sadness, anger, fear, denial, and guilt when their pet dies. They may also be jealous of friends with pets.
This is basically how my Precious is handling it, so I was comforted by that fact. The other day she took the little frozen Guppy Goop out of the freezer. He is wrapped in clear plastic. She asked if I found the camera yet… I hadn’t and I was about to go out and buy a new digital just so she could get some closure.
Today, I found the digital!
(to be continued)
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From Psych Central's website:
PsychCentral (November 23, 2010)
Mental Health Social (November 23, 2010)
chatobstewart (November 23, 2010)
From Psych Central's website:
How Children Grieve When A Family Pet Dies | Mental Health Humor (February 4, 2014)
How Children Grieve When A Family Pet Dies | Honest Panic Away Reviews (February 4, 2014)
Last reviewed: 23 Nov 2010