Saying Goodbye to a Beloved Pet

Maybe Heaven for cats is an eternal nap in a cozy spot.
Maybe Heaven for cats is an eternal nap                  in a cozy spot.

My sweet cat has reached the end of her life. I found myself having to explain everything to my children. I just wanted to curl up and cry, but Moms don’t have such luxuries. I have to think first of how to help my children cope. Weeks ago I warned the children that she would not live much longer because she was getting sick but I didn’t know how much longer she would have. Obadiah and I made the decision to schedule euthanizing for her. This was a hard decision. We both prayed for guidance and support. When we both felt at peace with the decision we made our plans. We are doing this just a few days after Christmas so that we have time off from school to spend with her and the comfort of time spent with extended family around the holidays. If we waited until the last possible moment we would prolong her suffering and the children would have nothing to look forward to but bleak January school days.

The day after Christmas I explained exactly when she would be euthanized and vaguely explained how the vet does this. I said, “So that her body will not suffer and her soul can be free to go to Heaven.” I also explained how her body will help the trees grow. I don’t know for a fact that pets have souls. I don’t have complete faith in the belief that they will go to Heaven. But I told my children the most comforting belief system. There is no need to get into theological perspectives that they are too young to understand. Rocking their world and making them uncertain all at once is not going to help them. I can’t imagine my kids growing up and saying to their therapist, “My parents told me my pets would go to Heaven when they died!”

I do not believe it is necessary to have her Blessed by a minister or put Holy Water on her. God is in control. I do not believe that a certain ritual or act will change God’s plans. I googled “Do pets go to Heaven?” and shared some helpful articles I found in links at the bottom of this page. I found comfort in the idea that God knows what we need, loves us and will not withhold his Blessings from us in his Eternal Kingdom.

I have planned a funeral so that we can have closure. I will read from some of the Bible verses cited in those links. I will say a prayer thanking God for our pet and asking God to take care of her now and comfort us. We will put down some carnations and make a little memorial spot in our yard. Then, because my daughter will like it, I will play My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion. I have always hated this song, buthttp://www1.cbn.com/700club/do-all-dogs-really-go-heaven I have to think first of what my kids need. I would love to skip the sappy song, but Moms don’t have such luxuries.

Christianity Today: “Do Pets Go To Heaven”

The Pet Loss Support Page

Do All Dogs Really Go To Heaven?

Bible Info: Do Animals Go To Heaven?

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