A long time ago, when I was just a school girl, I wrote a short story about the death of a loved one. The story described the feelings one goes through when suffering loss. It wasn’t until the end of the story that I revealed that it wasn’t the loss of a person but, the loss of a hamster. Who knew that when I wrote that story, I was foretelling the future? Yesterday, the boys lost their first pet; Speedy the Hamster.
Breaking the news to Tink was one of the most heart breaking things I’ve ever had to do as a parent. He was his hamster. I was awake most of Saturday night, building myself up to that moment, thinking the best way would be to rip it off like a plaster, quick and painless. Of course it wasn’t painless. Tink broke down, crying out over and over, “He was mine”. Yup, he was maybe a tad dramatic. Naturally, seeing him cry set me off. Pup just kind of stood there and looked at us.
Tink is no stranger to loss. He lost his Grandpa when he was 1, although wouldn’t have understood at the time. Through the years we have kept him alive in our memories with photos and stories. Tink feels like he knows him. One time, he actually ran into the kitchen to tell his Gran that Grandpa Joe was on the telly. It was only Jeremy Corbin but it gave us all a giggle. Now though, he understands that he wasn’t well and is no longer with us. We tell him that he is in the stars, watching over us all.
Pup didn’t understand. I told them both that Speedy had gone and joined Grandpa Joe in the stars. He proposed we build a rocket and go get him, “bad Grandpa Joe for steeling Speedy”. Funnily enough, Tink had suggested the same when he was younger, to go fetch Grandpa. This time, he lost his temper with Pup yelling, “Speedy is DEAD”.
Pup then proceeded to randomly approach Tink throughout the day and whisper, “Speedy is DEAD.” Of course this didn’t go down well with Tink. I spent most of the day mediating the pair of them.
In order to distract Pup from taunting Tink and, Tink from his grief, we watched How to Train Your Dragon 1 and 3; the 2nd wasn’t available. Tink also had more time than normal on his pad and youtube.
Patch helped too. He cut out Christmas shapes for us to toast Sunday morning. The boys also had a shot cutting Christmas trees, reindeer and angels. This kept them busy for a bit though created one heck of a mess for me. Concerned about the bread wastage, I suggested Tink eat the scraps. He got overly excited about the prospect of this. You’d think I’d given him a spoon and a tub of Nutella.
Eventually, he turned his grief into something more productive, “can I get another Speedy?” Yup, he has been coming up with many ideas as to why he should get another hamster which, by the way, he also plans on naming Speedy. I asked, “what if it’s a girl” and he answered, “I’ll call her Wonder Woman”.
The good thing about kids is that they bounce back so fast. He did tell me this morning that he still feels sad. I told him that this is to be expected. You never stop feeling sad when you lose someone but you learn to live with it.
Everyone in this world has experienced loss, whether it is a grandparent, a sibling, a parent, a friend or even a pet. Death is a part of life.
We are here and we have to keep on living, for them.