Saying Goodbye
For many, the hardest part of owning a pet is saying goodbye. I've never had to deal with the death of a beloved pet, but I can understand how horrible and depressing it must be. Hamsters are not just our pets. They are our friends. Faithful listeners and adorable clowns. My Oreo never fails to make me smile, and I'm sure your ham was the same way too. Perhaps this page will help you cope with your loss, and give you some guidance. Remember: You're never alone. No matter what, your baby is still right beside you, watching over you, forever.
After coming home from another boring day of school, Jimmy ran into his room, eager to see the curious face of his hamster, Cheerio, staring up at him through the metal bars of his cage. "Hey boy! I'm home!" Dropping his bookbag on the floor, he plopped down beside the cage. Cheerio was still sleeping. Though Jimmy felt guilty about waking him up, he had a bad day, and needed to see his best friend's furry face. Opening the cage door, he moved around some bedding and blew gently on his hamster's face. Nothing. Not the slightest bit of movement. "Cheerio?" Bracing himself for a nip, Jimmy moved his hand over to the corner and petted Cheerio. With a gasp, he withdrew his hand quickly. Cheerio was as cold as ice. "MOM!" Feeling like he couldn't breathe, Jimmy jumped up and ran into the kitchen where his mother sat, waiting for the dinner to cook. "Mom! Something's wrong with Cheerio!" With a sigh of slight annoyance at being disturbed, Jimmy's mother got up and followed him into the room. She watched as Jimmy picked up the little golden Syrian with careful hands and brought him up into his mother's face, "What's wrong with him, Mom? Make him wake up!" Taking the hamster from her son's shaking hands, she walked over to the bed and waited for Jimmy to sit down beside her. When he did, she gave Cheerio back and sighed, wondering how to explain death to her 8 year old son, "Jimmy, honey, Cheerio's... he's... he's dead, baby." The shock on his face surprised her, "NO HE'S NOT! HE'S NOT DEAD! YOU'RE LYING!" Jumping off the bed, Jimmy retreated into a corner, wanting to get away from this woman who was not only his mother, but also a painful reminder of the truth, the reality that Cheerio was gone. Clutching the dead hamster to his chest, Jimmy sat down on the floor, stroking the soft yellow fur, "He's not dead. He's just sleeping." With a heavy heart, his mother continued, "Jimmy, when I was a little girl, my cat died. We were best friends. She was hit by a car." The memory of it brought tears to her eyes, but she held them back. Jimmy was crying enough for the both of them. "When pets die, it's a very sad thing, but you don't have to worry. They're still here, watching over you. Cheerio's in a beautiful place called the Rainbow Bridge. It's a wonderful place where all animals go when they die. They live in peace and harmony with one another. When people here on Earth die and go to heaven, they often miss their family. That's why God made the Rainbow Bridge. The angels can go there when they get lonely and play with the animals who are still waiting for their owners here on Earth to come to them. If none of the animals died, then the angels would be lonely and sad forever." Jimmy looked up slowly, his tearstained face now curious. Still sad, but also full of wonder, "You mean I'll see Cheerio again?" His mother smiled, "Yes, but not now. Cheerio wants you to be happy here untill it's your time to go. For now, he's up there having fun with the angels, and he'll always remember you and watch over you. Always." -A story by me, Neha J.
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