This blog post is a little off subject for it being an allergy blog but I have been going off subject more and more. I really hope you all don't mind. I figure I would just tell you all about more aspects of our life than just the allergies part of it.
When we moved into the house we live in now, we had moved in as renters of my husband's grandmother's house since she was moving to a retirement home. She had 2 cats that lived with her. So, when it came time for her to move she tried to find homes for them and was unsuccessful. After thinking about it, my husband and I decided we would let them live in the back yard and garage. My son and I both are allergic to cats. I am so allergic to them that if I go into a home with cats, I will feel it for at least another 24 hours. So, upon moving in, we cleaned carpets, walls and every surface of the house to get rid of any cat hair or dander. Because of the way cats have always made me feel, I was never fond of them. But, these two cats over the last few years have nestled into my heart. I am sure you can imagine the pain I felt when I went to check on them and found one of the two passed away in her bed inside her little house. It was heartbreaking. I could only think of what I did wrong, how it was my fault and I just completely lost it. I called my husband hysterical and he came home from work to make sure she was really gone and to deal with the remains. It never really hit me how much I grew to love those cats until I saw her lying there. Once I had gotten myself composed and feeling less guilty, I realized that I would have to tell my kids. My daughter is 3 and doesn't quite understand much about how many animals we have, so I figured I would keep her out of it. But, my son knows how many animals we have, their names and so on. So, my husband and I sat in the living room with our children and I was at a loss for words. I debated leaving him in the dark, but then what would I do when he asked where Pumpkin kitty was? Why do we only have Smokey now? So, I ended up telling him that Pumpkin went bye bye and she wont be back. He was sad and argued with me, saying he was not going to say bye bye. Then, he noticed that her house was now gone so I told him that she took her house with her. (The house was where she passed and I will not go into details but to say that we could no longer keep the house.) We hadn't talked about it since. Then last night, my husband and I went to dinner and a movie with my dad, his girlfriend and my grandmother. When we returned to my dad's house where my sister was babysitting, they did not want to leave. So, I told him that Bear (our dog) and Smokey (our living cat) were hungry and needed us to go home and feed them. He says "You brought Smokey back home?" Apparently he was confused on which cat was gone. That broke my heart. I had to tell him that Pumpkin went away and Smokey still lived at our house.
I know that was a lot of detail but I have never had to tell my children of a loss. Either they weren't around for the losses I have had or they were too young to know any different. I am glad that he is not yet old enough to understand death, that would have been so much more heartbreaking to see. I would love to hear how you all have dealt with telling your children of death of their beloved animal. As hard as it is, death happens and we all need to learn about it before it is a close friend or family member. It helps with coping when the time comes that you lose someone close to you. When my dog died it helped to show me that I can get passed it, I will move on. So, when my high school sweetheart of 3 years passed away, I knew that while this pain was deeper, I could still get through it.