Sunday, April 3, 2011
Zachs guinea pig died last night. She is our first non-fish pet to die so it was a big deal.
Zach got her as his special award for graduating preschool. He was so excited about her. He is very loving and sensitive and she was special to him. A pet that was only his. We adopted her with her sister at the humane society. Her sister is Zoey and belongs to Chelsea. Zach talked to Prissy all of the time and always wanted to let her out to play with her.
Last night I was putting Chelsea to bed and when I went in I saw Prissy was just laying on the bottom of the cage not moving but still breathing. I knew as soon as I saw her that she wouldn't make it through the night. I got our spare cage and cleaned it all out and put new bedding in it and moved her. I put food and water in with her just in case even though I knew she wouldn't need it. I then had to decide whether to go give Zach a heads up or wait until morning. I didn't want him to be up all night upset. Of course, I was up all night upset. I was so worried about how he would take it.
When he woke up in the morning he and I sat on the couch and I told him. He got very upset and teared up but didn't cry. He asked over and over again if I was sure and I said yes. He asked if I could find a magician to come bring her back to life and I told him that not even a magician could do that. We talked about heaven, we are not a religious family and this was the first time we had ever talked about heaven. Then we talked about burying her. He was not ok with that. We have skirted around death for a long time I guess. He had no idea about burying things or people who die. And he is a wildly claustrophobic person. More then anyone I have ever seen so burial seemed awful to him. It took a long time to convince him that it would be ok.
After a long talk I took him in to see her. She was in Chelseas room and we woke her up coming in. Now I had to tell her too. Now the night before I had been wishing hers died first. Sounds callous but Chelsea has thicker skin. She isn't emotional like Zach is. I thought it would be easier if hers went first, ease them into it. I never worried for a second about telling her. I honestly didn't think she would care. Then I went in and told her and she started sobbing. She cried and cried. It was awful.
I had Brandon go dig a hole and Zach stayed with me to get Prissy ready. Both kids made her a special I love you card. Zach wanted his in the box with her and Chelsea wanted hers in the hole. I put bedding into the box and Zach asked if he could put her in the box. I told him he could but when it was time he asked me to do it instead. Before I did he petted her for awhile and said goodbye. It was so sweet and broke my heart. He was all chocked up and trembling but didn't cry. He said "Goodbye Prissy. I will miss you forever and I will always love you as much as I ever did" Then I put her in the box and he took it outside. He put the box in the hole Brandon dug and insisted on covering it himself. My little guy out there with that big shovel taking care of business. When he was done he said "Bye Prissy. I love you. I will see you in that place when I die."
He never cried once. He told me he didn't want to make Zoey more upset so he wouldn't cry. I told him it was ok to cry that Zoey was crying to in her own way. He still never did. He held it back even though it was right there all day. He did pretty good the rest of the day. Every now and then he would come say something to me about Prissy with tears in his eyes but most of the time was a normal day. When we got home, right before bedtime, we were walking to the door and he said "thats where Prissy is, over there" and then he went over and said "Goodnight Prissy. Don't forget to wait for me when I die. I'll miss you until then"