I’ve been wanting to write this for a week now. Almost to the day. On this day a week ago my son’s beloved hamster died. He found the furry little guy in his cage already gone when he went to take him out to play. Ham Diggity was 2 1/2, which is a pretty good age for a hamster, and a couple weeks earlier the poor little guy had a stroke or seizure, so we knew time was limited. Nothing prepares you for the loss.
As a parent it is heartbreaking to see your child in pain. To know exactly what agony they feel and not be able to make it stop. It hurts you to the core. I’ve lost many pets and I know how bad he feels but I also know that the worst thing you can do is deny yourself the grieving of that pet. So many times I made the mistake of running out and trying to replace my lost friend to try to dull the pain, always ending in disaster. So I am determined to help my little man through this the right way.
He is doing much better a week later than I could have hoped, but I am concerned that he isn’t allowing himself to feel it still. Everything reminds him of his lost friend and night time, when they spent the most time together, is the hardest, but he pushes on. Although I’m happy that he’s not sobbing uncontrollably still, I worry that he will be hit by a title wave of pain when he lets his guard down. I hope of course that he is just moving on, but I know how much his furry friend meant to him and can’t help but fear the worst is yet to come.
Losing the pets we love is incredibly difficult. They are our friends, our family. They bring us joy and comfort. Losing them means losing a part of ourselves. I told my son that the pain never completely goes away because you will always miss them, but over time you learn to remember them with joy instead of tears of sorrow. Time is just so fleeting!