A strange feeling they don’t teach you about in school: grief.

My First Pet

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This was my pet hamster, Hamu.

This little hamster was my first pet, and was the first living thing that I was fully responsible for. She passed away recently (possibly due to dehydration but unsure) and it was the saddest moment. Even though, she was just a small animal that do or know much, she actually meant a lot to me. Towards the end, I relied on her as a therapy pet, in a way. Obviously she didn’t talk to me about my feelings or even sense when I was sad or stressed for that matter, but I looked forward to playing with her everday after classes. The little fluff brought me joy when school was bringing me down.

The worst part was that I wasn’t expecting anything to happen to her anytime soon. I knew from the beginning that a 2 year life span is considerably short, but she was only around 6 months old. I was so in shock that her limp body was never going to move again with the energy that she had. For a while, I couldn’t accept that she was really gone and kept wishing that she would just come back.

People asked me if I was planning on getting another hamster, but I felt like if I replaced her right away, it would be betraying the system. It would be like putting a bandaid on a wound that just needs time to heal. I also kind of felt like I didn’t deserve another pet because her death was most likely was due to lack of care on my part.

The only fortunate part of it is that I had unconditional support from my boyfriend while I grieved. He helped me bury her properly and clean up her cage, food and toys. I tried my best to look at what happened as a life lesson. It taught me that a person or pet can look perfectly normal on the outside but not be healthy on the inside and a busy schedule is nothing when compared to deppreciating health (mental or physical).

Moving forward

  • Grieve about her once a day for 5 minutes only. (to keep my sanity in check)
  • Take responsibility for those that I love and check in on them often.
  • Drop everything that I think is important (assignments, errands, etc) if my time can be spent to improve the health of a friend.