In December my sister died. There was Jewish ritual and community to gather around me and comfort me. Just two months later my beloved old dog died. A dear rabbi friend told me, “all deaths will bring up previous losses and these two deaths come very close together. Don’t be surprised if you feel a resurgence of your grief for your sister.” He was right.
A number of people sent me sympathy cards after my sister passed. Then I was surprised to receive cards and notes about my dog too. A woman at my synagogue mailed me a page from the book, The Book of Sacred Jewish Practices, which addresses loss of a pet. I had no idea there was any Jewish guidance for loss of a pet so I thought I’d share it with you. My children have taken the death of their beloved pet very hard. If your child needs a funeral or other Jewish practice for a pet, try some of these out.