My humorous take on how our family dealt with the loss of our beloved Guinea Pig.
I noticed our guinea pig, Wilbur, was crying more than normal. I gave him a little extra hay to snack on, (because he’s super greedy) and I thought it would suffice. His fur was a bit more mangy than normal, but I figured it was just time for his semiannual visit to the pet beauty shop. When Wilbur went to the pet beauty shop, he would be pampered and have his fur cleaned up like new. Later that evening, when he was doing his usual high-pitched squealing, I noticed he would all of the sudden go hoarse. It even made me stop dead in my tracks because it caught me so off guard. But once again, I let it go; I continued to think it was just Wilbur being weird.
These, my friends, are the stages of being in “sick pet denial.” A couple of days later I walked by his cage, and there were no squeals of excitement, no squeals of hunger, no squeals at all. He was lying down in the middle of his cage. I immediately knew he was dead. After giving his pen a couple of good smacks and there was no movement, I was in shock! I quickly pulled it together, because the girls were walking by, getting ready to go to school. It wasn’t the right time to tell them because I did not want to send them to school upset.
Marcus’ guinea pig joy.
I went to tell my husband about Wilbur… wait. Let’s back up a few steps. Marcus played a vital role in Wilbur’s life. He was affectionately known as the “poopy cage cleaner.” Marcus had an intense dislike for Wilburn and had been waiting for Wilbur to kick-the-bucket pretty much since the first day we brought him home. Marcus tried numerous times to get rid of him, telling the girls he was going to let him go in the backyard; my oldest would have had a full meltdown. I had to campaign to keep Wilbur with us, making false promises of taking over the cleaning of his poopy cage and all. As much as Marcus hated him, he would soften a little every time and let him stay. When I told him the news about Wilbur’s passing, I believe he did a small happy dance.
Marcus and I had a ton to do that day, so we continued on as usual, running around. We weren’t sure what we were going to do with Wilbur yet, so we let him lay peacefully dead in his cage.
When it was time to get the girls from school, I reminded him that we had to tell the girls about the loss of their friend. He also needed to do something with that furry little body; the last thing I wanted was the girls to run into the house and be traumatized when they found their stiff, dead Wilbur in his cage.
I start to go over how I was going to tell them of his passing and what I was going to say. I knew this was going to hit my oldest hard, and I wanted to be as delicate as possible. By this time, I had decided I wanted to have a proper burial for Wilbur. He had been a part of our family for three years, we spent a lot of time playing with him, and I felt it was only right. I ran the idea by Marcus, and he calmly said, “hell no.”
We pick up the girls from school, and during the car ride home, they’re very chatty and excited for the weekend. I felt a little lump in my gut, the size of our beloved guinea pig because I had to be the bearer of horrible news. I was envisioning their little tears and tiny heartaches.
We pulled up to the house and Marcus jumped out of the car. Remember, Wilbur was STILL in his cage. The girls remained in the car while I ran in to close the door of the laundry room, where Wilbur’s cage sat. Then, I signaled the girls to come out of the car and told them that I had some bad news.
Deep breath mom, here we go.
How my kids reacted to the news.
I then gave them the heartbreaking news that Wilbur had passed away. There was a long pause from all of them. Marcus then LIED and told them he was sick, and we took him to the pet shop where he died, peacefully. Karmyn darted for the laundry room, went inside and shut the door. Kimora and Kennedi headed for the kitchen table. I calmly ask Marcus, the “liar,” where the box is that Wilbur’s in, and he nonchalantly says, “In the laundry room, in the sink with another box on top of it.”
Out of all the places he could have put him, he put him where the girls could find him! I immediately felt all sorts of paranoia, because Karmyn is in the laundry room! If she does even a little looking, she would for sure find him dead. At this point, rigor mortis carcass of a body. I rushed to the laundry room to find my little girl, slumped in the corner, crying her eyes out. All I could do was console her. I tell her Wilbur had such a great life and was loved dearly by us all. She didn’t want to leave the laundry room, so I left her in there, while I just prayed she didn’t find that box.
I walked up to Kimora who had the saddest puppy eyes, hugged her and she started crying. I consoled her and told her the same thing I said Karmyn. Kenni was sitting down watching, and she had sort of a smirk on her face. She looked at me straight in my eyes and said, “I guess daddy’s dreams of getting rid of Wilbur came true.” Then she went right back to playing on her iPad like it was no biggie. Who’s heartless, black souled child was this?! She could care less that her sisters were distraught and her guinea pig was dead.
Poor Karmyn, she took it the hardest; she was the one that begged us for a pet. Karm fed Wilbur and even brought him to school for show ‘n tell. She would write stories about him and share them with her classmates and teacher. Even though Karmyn was borderline scared of Wilbur, he was her friend. She named him, she loved him and my heart ached for her.
I wondered what I could do to help soothe her and I came up with the perfect idea. Karmyn is my creative writer and told her to get her journal and write about Wilbur. To write about his life and how she felt about him being gone. I explained to her that writing was therapeutic and would help her heal. She sat down, journaled, and drew pictures of Wilbur. Just like that, she perked up and was much better. Writing about him was really what she needed.
Our family had its first experience with a death of a family pet, and I think we handled it quite well.
As for Wilbur, you are missed. You can never be imitated and most certainly won’t be duplicated, (as in, we ain’t getting no more pets). Also, for those that are wondering, we returned him back into the wild where he belonged so that he could become one with the soil and Earth… (as in, the bushes about two miles from our house).