Pet Loss

Cathy Bickel

For whatever loss brings you to this section, I am sorry.

 

Perhaps this was your first pet.

 

Perhaps you’ve had gerbils for 20, 30, 40, 50 or more years, and have said goodbye a few hundred times. They’ve scampered through and out of your life. You have developed a way of dealing with it over the years, but this one has hit you more deeply, and you may be feeling the total weight of all of those losses.

 

Take whatever time you need to heal. Many people find comfort in the Rainbow Bridge or in their own personal variation of it. Many others hope for the restoration of the world at the end of time. I have my own hopes.

 

Support

 

It can be difficult to find support for the loss of a gerbil outside of your network of other gerbil owners. Even a friend you’ve consoled through the loss of a dog or cat may not understand. You may hear phrases that are meant to be comforting but are actually not so, such as “If you need your pet with you in heaven to be happy, then they will be there.” People can even say things that make you feel worse, usually unintentionally.

 

Petloss.com is also a safe and well-moderated place to land. They have a wealth of articles, a forum, and a weekly online candle ceremony.

 

When and Whether to Get a New Pet

 

When or if you should get new gerbils is your call. Some people need to take a break before getting new pets. Some go out and immediately bring new pets home. Some will have already been back to their gerbil breeder and brought home the great-great-nieces of their elderly gerbil while he’s still well. None of these ways of dealing with it is wrong.

© The American Gerbil Society 1998-2020