Our gerbil died

  1. I am so sad right now, our gerbil, Nella, whom we have had for 3 years has passed away. I guess 3 years is good for a gerbil, she was such a great pet too. Always on the move, eating, running, building and re-arranging her habitat. I always used to laugh at how she would change things around according to the weather.

    My little guy doesn't know yet, he is at school. He is going to be absolutely heartbroken. He loves animals so much, he cries if one on TV dies. I can't imagine how he is going to feel about this. I mean, if I am crying, how is he going to deal with it? I dread telling him.:crybaby:
    Any advice on how to break the news to him? She is lieing in her tank and just looks like she is sleeping.

    I knew there was something not right about her the last couple of days, she just wasn't being herself. The other day when I filled her bowl up with food-she usually runs right over and buries it and she barely even touched it.:crybaby:

    Oh Nella, thank you for the last 3 years, we loved you!
  2. Sweetie:

    I am SO sorry - you poor love, I cannot tell you how much I commiserate with you right now - my beloved old dog - and also his dear old kennel mate (so we lost two in three weeks) died this summer and it still hurts every time I see either of them in the squillions of photos I have.

    Honestly - my heart really goes out to you.

    May I suggest that you are really open with your little boy - and explain that because he is so tiny that gerbils get very old, very soon and they have a short life - but oh what a happy one it was.

    The you need to ask him what he wants to do for a little funeral maybe - and then talk about him a lot in conversation and remember all the fun times you have had - and then, you need to think about getting another pet - perhaps not a gerbil - there will be too many comparisons - but perhaps a small rabbit - or guinea pig - or something that will help you all to move on.

    I really feel for you - gerbils are tiny, but they still fill the old heart with love!

    :tender: :tender: :tender:
  3. So sorry to hear about poor little Nella. :sad:

    I agree with Fashion_Hunter's advice, I think you need to be open and honest with your son (who sounds like a complete angel, BTW! :angel: ). Greet him at the door (so he doesn't find her on his own) and tell him that you need to talk to him. He will obviously be very upset, poor little guy - but in the long run, better that than lying to him, IMO.

    As she looks peaceful, I'd also leave her where she is, for now, just in case he wants to see her, to confirm to himself what has happened.

    I actually think the fact that you are upset will help him, as he will know that you cared about her, too and also that it's OK for him to be upset. I think the worst thing for a child who cares about animals, is if their parents don't (or don't appear to) care.

    I also agree with the idea of getting a new pet; it doesn't take away the pain, but it certainly takes your mind off it, doesn't it? Maybe wait a couple of weeks, though, so he doesn't think that you don't really care about Nella and explain that the new pet is not there to take her place, but as an animal in its own right.

    I'll be thinking of you both.
  4. I am so sorry to hear about your gerbil...just because they are little does not mean that you are silly for mourning its deal...it had its own little spirit and personality!

    Growing up, I had two gerbils and two hamsters, all of which provided me with HOURS of entertainment. When they passed away, I cried and cried!! Hopefully your little boy will not be TOO devastated.

    Maybe try to have a little funeral service for him...we did that for them, and it totally helped me feel better:smile:
  5. Aw, that's sad! My father used to call me "Elly Mae Clampett" when I was younger b/c my collection of hamsters, gerbils and guinea pigs. When I was in high school I worked in a couple of pet shops and of COURSE the little guys that no one wanted ended up in my room. As I lost each of them, I cried too. I especially was brokenhearted when Pepe, the smallest guinea pig I've ever seen but the biggest personality, died. You do get attached and so it's hard when they leave. You can tell your son that Nella went to gerbil heaven, whatever that may mean to your son. Seems even young children understand that "heaven" of any sort is a better place to be.

    You might also think about getting a new gerbil in a few days. Kids have such short attention spans that his grief of losing Nella may become replaced with complete joy if a new gerbil comes into the house. Just be sure to help him understand that you aren't replacing Nella. Just giving another gerbil a new family to love and it's OK to still feel a little sad about Nella.
  6. I agree with everyone,my guys bounced back pretty quickly at the idea of a new animal. I gave them a bit to be sad and say goodbye,then there was excitement. But it is so heartbreaking,so hard. Sending you good thoughts.:smile:
  7. I'm so sorry to hear about Nella's passing. It's sad that furry creatures have such short lifespans. I cried and cried when my guinea pigs, Jingles and Hairy died. I wasn't allowed to see their bodies...just came home one day and saw the empty cages. My parents then bought me a puppy and she's still here. It helped me get over the loss of the guinea pigs since there's a lot of excitement and responsibility involved with a new pet.
  8. Nishi, sorry to hear about your gerbil. When I was in my thirties, I kept 7 hamsters (little Suzi - after Suzi Quatro - was my favourite) and when they all passed away, one after another, I mourned their passing. Didn't want to have any more hamsters after that.
  9. Omg ..Nishi .. im terrrrrribly sorrrrrry 4u ur lost and ur son ... i know how it hurts when u lose a beloved animal u cared about for years ..
  10. I'm so sorry Nishi :crybaby: No matter how small our pets are, their hearts are big and love us no matter what. That's why it hurts so much when they leave us. Don't worry about crying when you tell him. He needs to see you mourn the loss to. Moms are human too. Let us know how you're doing. My heart goes out to you and your family.
  11. oh denise, i'm so sorry you lost your gerbil! *hugs* i know how you feel, my ferret who was 8 years old died early tuesday. it's so sad, i keep looking at the spot where his cage was and it's so weird seeing it empty. i hope your son took the news ok...
  12. Oh michelle-I am so sorry to hear about your ferret! Please accept my condolescenses (sp?):heart:

    Well-we told William last night when my husband came home-as expected, he took it pretty badly. Luckily for us, we had already ( a long time ago) spoken to him about death and dieing. We let him look at her and touch her (he asked to), then we all went to the park and buried her. We all said some nice things about what a great gerbil she was and William said he would never forget her. We put sticks and rocks on her "grave" and then came home. Throughout the night he cried over her and he spoke about her and death and heaven a lot last night.

    He seemed fine this morning, I am sure he told all his friends at school about it. This morning he said he would like a new gerbil who "Hopefully will live even longer than Nella" (his words). After posting on my local neighborhood Yahoo board, a woman wrote me to say that she had a litter of 5 baby gerbils who were ready for a new home (her daughter adopted 2 gerbils from school and this is their second litter).

    So, Sunday morning we will be going to her house to look at the little guys and hopefully will be bringing someone (or 2) home. I have already cleaned out Nella's cage in preparation :sad: and scrubbed all her things that are re-usable (I threw out her wooden house and a couple of other things).

    Thanks everybody for your advice and sympathy-it was very much appreciated!