Unfortunately you can never choose when and what from your piggies die. All you can ever do it to cherish every day with them and make them a good one. Pets a like a loan from Heaven but this loan can be cancelled at any time without notice.
Guinea pigs don't have a concept for a set life expectancy unlike us humans; they measure their life in happy days. If you have given Albert many happy days with you, then you haven't failed him in any way as far as he is concerned.
I know from my own experiences of having lost even younger piggies than Albert that losing a young one is always harder in that you tend to feel more strongly that you have failed them in some nebulous way or you have strong feelings of guilt if there is the least indication that your perception or decisions may have been at fault. Be kind with yourself during this stage and give yourself space to process and express your emotions.
Please take the time to read our grieving guide; you will hopefully find it very helpful in making sense of your feelings over the coming days, weeks and even months. It also contains links on where you can find help. Grieving is not something you can hurry on but if you find that you are really struggling, please remember that the best healer is to talk and that there are trained and confidential 'ears' out there who can help make you feel better in yourself; which is the experience of all forum members using those services.
Here is the link: Human Bereavement: Grieving, Coping and Support Links for Guinea Pig Owners and Their Children
Thank you so much everyone for your kind words. It has been a comfort to know that others understand how I'm feeling whilst trying to hold space for my children to grieve too.
I'm sorry to hear of Pickles' passing too MaryJames
Sending you hugs as you grieve. The pain of loss of a loved person/pet is hard to bear and you don't stop the love when they pass, but keep the good memories with you and they will comfort you in the future. Popcorn over that bridge little ones xx