Nipper did pass away peacefully in her sleep. We woke up to check on her yesterday morning and though the soft, furry little body was still there, the spark was gone along with her life's breath.
I have just finished washing her cage pieces and taking it apart to put away until we add another little furry bundle to our lives in a few months. It was hard to do and yet wonderful closure as well. Harder yet is to see her box every time I open the freezer.
I can hear the “ewwws” right now. It will be winter here for quite a few more months and the ground is far too frozen for a proper burial. I had wanted to take Nipper’s body out to the vast woods near our house and find a little hollow beside a tree to place her in and put a nice rock over the body. She’d always tried so hard to escape while she was alive that I thought she’d appreciate being in the wide outdoors as a final escape... but the kids figured out that some of the other things in the woods might eat their beloved Nipper.
I tried to explain about the body just being a shell... I tried the “Circle of Life” kind of thing from Lion King about food chains... but instead, Nipper is now tucked in a little cardboard box, carefully shrouded in tissue, with a label to mark the box like a headstone. Erin even illustrated around my words.
I finally had to make a drawing to go with my website update because it was such good therapy to draw a dragon cradling a little hamster in her claws as she cries.
Now if I could just stop talking to the hamster that is no longer here.....