After writing in my last post that Loki, my pet gerbil, was poorly and old, he passed away peacefully in his sleep the other day. I saw him in the morning and gave him some cuddles, then when I came home from work he was lying in his gerbilarium, looking like he was asleep, but he was gone.
His fellow gerb, Thor, passed away in January this year, after a short illness. Loki was amazing, he obviously missed Thor but he was so strong and determined to carry on, and he did, for nine months afterward.
I miss them both terribly.
I am aware that some of you reading this may think “it’s just a pet”, but anyone who has had pets, large or small, will know that every creature has so much personality and brings so much love and joy. Pets are truly part of the family.
I’m not sure what I believe about “souls”, but there is no doubt looking into an animal’s eyes that there is a deep intelligence, consciousness and spirit there. If there is a next life, I wish them every happiness in it. If not, then I know that they are still together and at peace.
Loki and Thor were the best gerbils anyone could ask for, and I am grateful for the time I had with them both. At the same time, I’m heartbroken to be without them. For the first time in three and a half years, the house has no gerbils in it, and it is a much quieter place; it feels like the heart has gone out of the home.
My partner and I wrapped Loki in muslin cloth, put him on our home shrine for a while as we sat with him and mourned, then we buried him in the garden in the same spot we placed Thor at the start of the year.
It’s nearly Samhain, the time for remembering the dead, for honouring their lives and connecting with their memories. And that is not limited to humans. This Samhain, I will honour Thor and Loki.
After Thor passed away, my partner and I got matching runic tattoos as a memorial, and we are going to do the same for Loki. They were our first pets together as a couple, and they will always be special for that.
What is remembered lives.