Just over a week ago, gathered in my second oldest daughter's room, we said goodbye to our guinea pig, Dark Chocolate.
He was almost 4, a good age for a guinea pig.
He started seizing, and we held him close, trying to give comfort, while he passed on.
He jerked uncontrollably, and our hands, stroked lightly on his dark brown head.
He stopped seeing, and with whispered prayers, our hands still testing softly on him, we said goodbye.
He gasped, and tears came easily.
In the moments after his body finally relaxed, Gwen cried while her dad held her.
Natalie wanted to see Dark Chocolate, and we gently allowed her to see his body. She was worried about him being cold. But then, maybe remembering a funeral less than a year ago, her eyes filled with tears. And she cried, and her dad held her as well.
Our house has been quieter since then. We all miss his squeaking.
He was such a nice pet, soft, loved to be held, loved his carrots and celery.
It's in the still moments, when I'm chopping veggies for soup, when making a salad, when we would have give him the bits left from the preparing of food, that I feel sad.
He is missed.