It has been difficult watching Ella mourn the loss of her dog. She was terribly sad when we told her Lulu needed to go up to heaven and be with Jesus. We had been telling her for a week or so that Lulu was really sick and she had been with me to the vet several times. Ella got to be with Lulu for almost 2 hours before we put her down. They layed on the floor together as she watched cartoons for most of that time. Ella laying behind Lulu with her arm around her neck and her head on Lulu's ear. An hour or so after Keith took Lulu away Ella was bouncing off the walls as if nothing had happened. I was a little thrown off, but needed to roll with it.
Since then, the way she expresses her grief is to continue to draw pictures of her dog while adding “I love you Lulu” on each picture. She mentions her several times a day, whether it be that she says she misses her or something like, “good thing Lulu’s not here to be scared of the squeaky dryer” or “good thing we don’t have any Lulu hair on the carpet anymore”. She knows it’s ok to cry and miss her. She also knows that she is not coming back, but that she will be in our hearts forever.
It has been an interesting experience watching how strong Ella can be, yet still be just a 5 year old little girl that I don’t think can grasp the situation fully. The innocence she exudes while coping on a day to day basis is amplified by her sorrow. Keith and I also had a really hard time with Lulu's death, but watching Ella persevere, whether she is conscious of it or not, gives me strength. She is my strong and beautiful, but vulnerable and innocent little girl. I wish I could make everything better for her.