The death of a pet, sudden or expected, can be handled in many ways. However before it happens, I encourage you to delve into how this was handled in your childhood. Perhaps your story offers an opportunity for letting go?
It can be really helpful to have a humble explanation for your child that answers the question, “What happens after we die?” I take my lead from my teacher, Dr David R Hawkins on this one. Many times I’ve shared this story inspired by him.
Inside of each of us is a spirit body. It can’t be seen or felt but it is powerful because it never dies. You could say it is what we really are. When our body dies we continue on as spirit. Pets and the animals of this world have spirits too. When their bodies die, their spirits quickly “jump” into a new body. A baby animal body soon to be born or hatched. So the instant the animal dies it is already in a new body about to join our world. When your dear old cat dies his spirit leaves his old body and becomes the light inside a new kitten.
Believe it or not this story can soothe adults consumed with fears around death and dying. Regarding the animals, it is truly the circle of life and all these amazing creatures are here to serve our highest good. Of course it’s our job to show a reverence for their lives and the contributions they make to us. This does not necessarily mean you need to become a vegan. Understand that, “life serves life”. You’re not to feel guilty for eating the flesh or offerings of an animal. Remember, life serves life. Where we could improve is in how we regard the animals so devoted to us, be it for food, service or love.