Losing a pet is awful. Jupiter was 16 years old - we got him the fall before my sister got married, so I was 19, and Mare & Joey hadn't been born. Jupe was awesome - mellow, beautiful, regal. He liked to curl up in my hair, and he had the loudest purr I've ever heard. He gave head-butts to the people he loved, to let you know that he considered you a member of his pack.
Mare was particularly hard hit by his death - she has never lost anyone or anything before. She felt guilty when he died that she hadn't spent more time with him. My mother too was devastated - he was her cat, her constant companion during the day, prowling around the house.
We decided that we want to get another kitty as soon as possible. Jupiter came along when we had lost our 9-year-old cat, Jose Greco. Jupe helped ease the pain of losing Jose, and I'm hopeful that getting another cat now will help everyone not hurt so much about Jupe.