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Old 05-07-2021, 02:48 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 1
Default Our young hamster has died

Nibbs, my 11 year old son's beautiful 6 month old hamster has died. They were inseparable and apart from school went everywhere together. She was such a character and we are heartbroken.

The thing is iI have come on here hoping you all might understand that she wasnt 'just' a hamster. She was Nibbs, the smallest member of our family.

She died whilst we cuddled her last night. There was no time to get her to a vet and We buried her today. There is a huge gap where her cage sat and we have no idea why.
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Old 05-08-2021, 02:36 PM   #2
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Default Re: Our young hamster has died

I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. Indeed, there is no such thing as “just a hamster” — each one is its own little being with personality and preferences and a desire to explore and to live a happy hamster life. And each one has the ability to capture someone’s heart. I wish you well, finding a way to fill that gap she left behind.
Run free and play well at the bridge, little Nibbs.
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Old 05-08-2021, 04:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: Our young hamster has died

I am so sorry and completely understand about her being part of the family. It is incredibly hard to cope with. You had a bond. It is also incredibly sad that she died at just 6 months old - so young. This does happen sometimes - but thankfully rarely - and it is most likely she was born with some genetic weakness - a weak heart maybe. This kind of thing can also come from bad breeding (pet shop hamsters have very uncertain breeding). But is a lottery as well. Even pure bred hamsters from breeders, with a pedigree, can have one born with a weakness.

The hardest thing is the cage being there empty. I always find it helps to cover it up with a blanket until you feel ready to empty it out, clean it and put it away. It can make the grief much harder with the cage sitting there.

You may feel it is too soon to think about getting another one and it wouldn't replace Nibs - but I have found it actually really helps to get another one. In fact I started keeping two so if one died we still had one that needed caring for and it wasn't quite such a sudden change of lifestyle.

A new hamster will be a different personality - they are all different. It helps to get one a different colour maybe, and sometimes even a different species - so it doesn't remind you too much.

Sorry I just reread - you said a huge gap where the cage sat so you've probably already removed it. Maybe rearrange things a bit in the room for now so the gap isn't there looking at you. I haven often set up a cage in a different room after one has died when we get another one - so the habits are slightly different and less of a painful reminder.
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Old 05-09-2021, 01:22 AM   #4
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Default Re: Our young hamster has died

No way “just a hamster” each are so special and have their own little personality. It’s so hard when you lose a part of your family. I said to my husband he heartbreak is so bad, but he reminded me of the joy they bring when they are in our household.
My first hamster Jeff was poorly when we got him, we didn’t realise, we took him to the vets and he was given drops and tablets, but he passed away after only a couple of months, I was heartbroken and hated looking at the empty space where the cage once was. I felt so guilty but I had to get another hamster, not to replace Jeff but to just fill the gapping hole he’d left in my heart! I brought Ralph and made sure he looked nothing like Jeff and said to my husband I’d never be able to bond with him or love him like Jeff, but our relationship grew and he brought me so much joy, I never forgot Jeff but having Ralph in my life made the loss more bearable. The same thing happened when I lost Ralph (he lived to be an old man, but I had to get him put to sleep as I came home and he was squeaking and obviously in a lot of pain). What I’m trying to say is, maybe getting another hamster will help you heal, everyone is different though I just know it really worked for me. If you do decide to get another one, please do it guilt free! Thinking of you at this sad time. x
Loving owner of Harry
RIP forever in my heart Jeff and Ralph 💕
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Old 05-09-2021, 03:46 AM   #5
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Default Re: Our young hamster has died

Also hamsters need good loving homes. So many are just left ignored after a child loses interest. I realise though that she was your son’s hamster too and he may feel he wants to move on and have a different pet. There is no reason you can’t have both though. I truly believe that getting another hamster helps to prevent the grief becoming a trauma. We were all struggling with the loss of our first hamster- particularly me as I had fallen in love with him and done most of the care and he took a long time dying - I also had to have him pts. I ended up having counselling with the blue cross by email (they are absolutely brilliant). Some people get another hamster straight away. I couldn’t- it was too raw. But within a couple of months we did and the efffect was immediate. Our new baby hamster healed us - he made us laugh and he needed us to bring him up! Train him and give him a happy home. It was literally like a big black cloud had lifted abd the missing part on our family was there again. He was a completely different colour, I did a completely different cage set up mostly with new items and in a different location. In time some of the old items stopped being too painful and were given to our new hammy.

It also helps when you have had some kind of ceremony to say goodbye. A burial eg. I planted some flowers and put a bird table over the burial place. Some people do a pot burial in a large pot and plant something in it. There are also cremation services but they are expensive. That helps once you‘ve said goodbye. Going away for a few days also helps.

I read something once that explained the pain. That when you love and have a bond, you are attached by an invisible string that is attached to both your hearts. When your loved pet dies the string is broken and your string is left wavering about without an attachment and that leaves pain and something missing in your heart. But we have room in our hearts for more strings and more attachments and your string can grow into the heart of a new loved pet. It is never the same - it is different. But still special.
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Old 05-11-2021, 12:40 PM   #6
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Default Re: Our young hamster has died

There's no 'just' about it. They're sentient beings.

Please remember that as hard as it is, it's the QUALITY of life not the quantity. I'm sure she had an amazing life with you.

I'm so sorry for your loss.

@Serendipity that is so lovely and so true. Sums it up perfectly.
🐹 1 ham, 🐶 2 dogs, 🐀 2 rats, 🐷 4 pigs. 🌈 Forever in my heart, 🐹 Lilith, Ghost, Nikolai and Athena 🐶 Beau ❤️
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