NAPERVILLE, IL—Observing the importance of teaching children that death is a natural and inevitable part of life, family sources told reporters Wednesday that the passing of grandmother Helen Abernathe, 84, provided her beloved grandchild Emma, 7, with the emotional strength necessary to cope with the eventual death of Mr. Fluffles, her pet hamster. “Emma has such a strong connection with that hamster, and, let’s face it, they’re not exactly durable, so I’m glad she could have a firsthand, personal experience with death like this before tragedy could catch her unaware,” said Emma’s mother, claiming that Helen’s death, while certainly sad, was a blessing in disguise. “I’m really dreading the day that hamster dies. It’s definitely going to hit us all hard. I mean, Emma got that hamster from her grandmother, who just left us. It’s going to be tough on her, but I’m glad she’s already familiar with loss on a certain scale, so losing her pet won’t just overwhelm her. Losing Grandma Helen taught her some coping mechanisms, and I’m so proud of her for not even crying.” The Abernathe family has planned a “silly but adorable little ritual” attended by the whole family in order to inter their grandmother in the backyard.
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