we’re really sad here and it feels like the end of an era in a way
I totally get this.
When Fred died this Easter, it was the same. We got Fred between the birth of our first and second child, and she'd been with us through so much life. I still well up when I notice the spot where we buried her in the garden.
It might not be right for everyone but the following week, I went out and got a kitten. Stevie really helped us to be positive and took our minds off the sadness.
She's turned into such a great character. Here she is in a typical pose (the black and white one):