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Making the World Cuter: Sadness

A blog where one woman is on a mission to make the world cuter, one kid, cupcake or crafty thing at a time.



Okay-so this is a little off the usual topic...but I guess there has to be ugly in the world to make it cuter right?

My little 6 (almost 7) year old girl is the sweetest little girl on the planet. My husband and I ask each other almost daily what we did to deserve such an angel of a child. She is obedient, helpful, loving, bright and beautiful to boot. I hate to see her even a little bit sad, because she would never do anything to make anyone else sad.

One of the things about this girl is her love for animals. She would own a zoo if we let her, and we would let her if we had the room and the money-because she would make a great little zoo keeper.

This week has been a hard one for all of us.

My husband constructed a little run for her guinea pig and rabbit in the garage so that they could get their exercise during the day rather than being in their little cage all the time. It has worked out really great until Monday night. Emali the guinea pig chewed her way out.
Bekah couldn't find her anywhere, and there is still no sign of her. We have torn the garage apart. It is less than 20 degrees outside, and I'm sure the poor thing has gotten under the house and froze to death.

It's not that I am particularly fond of the guinea pig or anything, but oh the sadness that has been on my little girls face all week, and the broken heart that ensues every time she opens the garage door to see if the carrots she left out have been eaten...well it is just killing me!

She still has hope, and I don't want to tell her to give up on that hope, but I know that if the little fur ball was still alive and nearby that she would have come out by now, or we would at least hear her...I just don't want to tell her what I am pretty positive happened. I don't want anyone else to tell her either-I just want her to open the garage and hear that little squeal of delight that Emali always gave whenever Bekah was coming out to play.

It's so hard to watch my sweet girl get her heart broken so completely. I don't know how to handle it. How do I make this better for her?

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Blogger Wendy said...

You can't really make it better for her, short of lying. It would probably be better to turn it into a lesson about death - painful but necessary. You could also get a new companion for the rabbit (though I'd suggest another rabbit as rabbits often bully guinea pigs). Good on you for sorting out the run, it's much better for the bunny to be able to run all day. You can get special "fox proof" wire, the kind they use for commercial rabbit runs which the bunny or guinea pig can't chew through so it wont happen again.

Thu Jan 06, 01:39:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have absolutely no advice, just tons of heartfelt sympathy. Hugs, kisses and lots of mommy love for your little girl.

Thu Jan 06, 02:39:00 AM

Blogger melismama said...

New follower sorry to hear about the guinea pig and your daughter's sadness. So hard on us moms, taking the pain away would be such an awesome super power to have! Peace!

Thu Jan 06, 03:49:00 AM

Blogger awjmgmom said...

We had a time when our dog was ill and our son was 4 going on 5. I think you will find that if you pray with and explain things to your daughter that she will understand far more than you realize and there is a good possibility that she will spend more time trying to comfort you than the other way around. Kids have a sense about that and handle that information and death differently. I pray that you will all get through it and perhaps that lil critter is smart enough to find a way to stay warm and return!

Thu Jan 06, 04:09:00 AM

Blogger Danielle said...

Poor little girl! I'm sorry to hear about the guinea pig and her heartbreak :(

Thu Jan 06, 04:56:00 AM

Blogger Regina said...

It's always so hard when our children have to see first hand that the world is not always a happy place. I do agree with Wendy though, this sad event is a good time to explain that things will change in life and losing someone we love is a part of life. Although...being one that had a few small furbabies myself growing up and having them make the great escape, there still might be a chance that she is about somewhere. hamster did one time and was missing for almost 2 weeks...she just appeared one day. I remember my dad telling me about life then and that sometimes even the sad times can turn around...sometimes.


Thu Jan 06, 05:38:00 AM

Blogger AliLilly said...

Oh Tiff, this just breaks my heart. Before I had my daughter Alice, I was all for life lessons and teaching your children everything there is about life and loss. But now just thinking that my own sweet Alie will go thru this someday just breaks my heart. I understand wanting to protect and shelter our children from such sadness. I would LOVE if Alie never had to know something like this. But I know she will. I think honestly when this happens with Alice I will gently explain life and death, God and Heaven. I'm so sorry. I do agree with awjmgmom too. It's amazing what our little ones already know and understand. AND as a lover of animals and future zoo owner as your daughter is, these are lessons she will have to learn. Her mother would be the best teacher for that. This will also teach her to cherish life and the things we love in it. I hope I helped, if only a little bit.

Thu Jan 06, 08:14:00 AM

Blogger Nerd Mama said...

Oh, how sad for your family. I know that when the little lights of our lives are down, so are we.

I do think that after this much time, you should be honest with your daughter. She needs to move on from the rollercoaster of hope and disappointment and grieve properly. It's not fun. Loss is never easy, and in a child's world a pet is an enormous, life-changing loss. There are ways you can make things easier for her, but like an adult losing a loved she must be allowed to be sad for a while. To help her you can do things like make the run more pet-proof so you won't lose the rabbit the same way, or offer her one last extensive search before you give in. Some kids can be placated with a replacement pet, others can't- it should be her choice.

Children can figure out an awful lot on their own, as others have already said. If you let this go on she'll come to her own conclusions. It will be easier if you are there to hold her hand during the transition. The sooner she moves into grief, the sooner she can move on to peace.

Thu Jan 06, 08:58:00 AM

Blogger Organize with Sandy said...

Oh... it is so painful to see your children hurt. I hope he comes back.

Thu Jan 06, 03:44:00 PM

Blogger Catherine said...

I hope your hamster appears one f these days! I don't think you have to dash your daughters hopes, but you can be realistic and comforting at the same time.

A few days ago, our fish died. My boys took it pretty hard, and they were both crying. This is the second time it's happened. I talked to them about where Ted is now, in Heaven, and that he's probably so much happier there with all his friends instead of living in a tiny little bowl. But the real breakthrough happened when I told them that Ted and Scarlet (fish #1) are probably swimming around together, that they are friends now and having fun together, talking about the good old days when they lived in the boys' room! That made them feel so much better.

Some people may disagree with me, but I believe that God has a place for all his creatures in death and that it's important for children to learn that death is a part of life, and it's not a reason to fear. Yes we are sad to lose someone we love, and that's okay. But they are with God and they would want us to be happy even though we miss them.

Again, I hope your hamster shows up. But if it doesn't, this will be a stepping-stone for your daughter, and I'm guessing that she will surprise you with her ability to understand and accept it.

Fri Jan 07, 06:40:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I am the first one who says do not give up hope, I agree that the cold temperatures are not in your favor.
I worked in a daycare many years ago and our pig disappeared during winter break. I knew it had to be in the center and tore the place apart hoping to find him (one way or the other) before the children came back. I had no idea where else to look.
OK- this is the sad ending, so those of you who want to quit reading, now.

He had crawled into one of the toys, I think it was a block with some sort of opening and gotten stuck. We found him after his demise. A while after.

I guess you need to find a way to make this into a lesson about love and loss. I wish I could be more uplifting.

Sun Jan 09, 12:40:00 PM

Blogger greetingarts said...

Oh, I'm so sorry. Things *might* turn out okay, I'm hoping that's the case, but if not I really think you should just be gently honest with her. You can't make it better, but you can help her to understand. Don't replace, lie, make things up, it will only hurt more when she finds out the truth. There are some wonderful children's books out there dealing with death, that might be a starting point for you. Warm thoughts heading your way!

Sun Jan 09, 05:29:00 PM

Blogger Dawn said...

No, you don't make it better, you simply thank God that she has such a loving mother to help her through times like this - teaching her strength. A lot of children don't have that, and will suffer for it later in life - almost as much as the children were sheltered from such pain and are therefore unable to handle it in adulthood.

Yes, very painful for you to watch, and please don't let me come across as unsympathetic - but I just know that everything happens for a reason - and God wanted her to be taught this lesson now, and she is blessed to have you help her with it. :)

Sun Jan 09, 06:42:00 PM


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