Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Sad Moment

We buried Princess this evening. She was a little white hamster that my daughter chose as her birthday present a few weeks ago. Nobody knows why she died, she was energetic these past few weeks, but in a span of a few hours life slipped away.

Though it was only a little hamster, I cried. I cried because my children's hearts were broken. Kathryn cried herself to sleep that night. Jacob cried as much or more for his sister's pain, than for his own sense of loss.

We had a burial service in our backyard. I dug a hole between two plants near our porch. Bryson, the boy next door, was there with us. The five of us had a quiet moment and then I said a few words. I was about to place the box that held Princess in the ground when my daughter stopped me. "No Dad" she said, "I need to do it." She took the box from me and gently placed it in the ground.

This made me very proud of her. Over the past two days, she had avoided going into the garage, because that was where Princess was in her burial box. It was too painful for her to see and she would start crying again. Still, through her tears, she said that it was her place to lay Princess in the ground. Though she just turned 10, she seemed so grown up to me in that moment.

It was a quiet, intimate time and the five of us share a deeper bond than we had before today.


Kay said...

I'm so sorry! The death of a pet can be just as emotionally wrenching as the death of a human (at least to me). My kitties are members of my family.

Hamsters are notoriously known for sudden death. I'm not sure why. I might suggest a Guinea Pig next time. They are a little tougher.

Redlefty said...

Sorry for what happened but glad to hear what has come out of it. You've got great kids!

Adam Gonnerman said...

Yeesh! My daughter's cat is named Princess. I grew up on a farm and saw animals (pets and livestock) come and go. When we got this cat for my daughter, I thought to myself, "It's fine now, but that cat will probably only last about 14 years." It's been two now...and counting. Sigh. 14 might seem like a long time, but it'll be on us soon enough.

Andrew said...

Thanks Kay and Red :)

Adam - I've got two cats who are hitting the 12 mark, and it is rough thinking they only have a few years left to them. Those 12 years went by fast.

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