There's no way to sugar coat it: having your family pet die is absolutely miserable. And having to explain it to your kids? Welp, that's just salt in the wound. In a sneak peek of an upcoming episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Kim is dealing with this very struggle after North's hamster Blacktail was found stiff.
"I don't know how I'm going to say, 'By the way, your hamster died,'" Kim said to the camera, noting her daughter was still at school. "It's the first time she's, like, really, really, really loved an animal. More than her dogs! She's still into it and I don't know what to do." She later added that: "North is gonna be really, really upset. It's just not fair. How do I go and explain this? Like, what do I do?"
As a person who's had a slew of pets in her lifetime, I can confirm it's simply one of those tough conversations, sans silver lining.
I remember when my mom told me my cat Oliver died like it was yesterday. I was coming home from college for Winter break and while stopping for gas, she just blurted out that he passed and began crying. Sure, he was 23 years old and had a failing liver, but I was still beside myself with grief.
My advice? If possible, save the private conversation for when your children are home and have a few hours to themselves to reflect and grieve. Although breaking devastating news to kids is never something a parent wants to do, it's good to have a plan in place and, above all, be open and honest. Be prepared to answer questions and do your best to respect their wishes — whether they want to have a funeral for the pet or discuss where animals go when they die. And, of course, give lots of hugs.
Like many mourning the loss of a pet, Kim had a common reaction: wishing she'd never gotten that hamster in the first place in order to avoid this heartbreak.
"This is the kind of s**t I can't deal with," she said. "This is why you don't get someone a pet," Kim told Khloé. "Don't ever do this to me again. I literally hate you."
While we often say things we don't mean when we're in pain, remind your kids of all the wonderful memories you made with the animal in question and take your time when it comes to getting another little critter. Sometimes you need a few months — or hey, even years — to feel comfortable welcoming another pet into the home again.