The boys were going through their normal routine of feeding the fish before bedtime. Both fish were swimming as usual, the boys were talking to me and talking to one another when my oldest son, Jacob, noticed “Blue” (our female fish) was no longer swimming.
Hudson, my 6 YO, noticed she was on her side and her little fins were not moving rapidly as Beta fish do. Yep! She was gone. It is so amazing to me how quickly it happened–like a swift breeze, her little spirit was gone.
And Hudson began to wail.
His tears caught me off guard because I didn’t think he was THAT attached to Blue. But, as we had lost another female Beta several months ago (Sparkle) and Blue was her replacement, I guess the loss was too much.
As we wrapped her in a paper towel for a heartfelt trashcan burial (Hud just could not bear to have her flushed down the toilet), Hudson, Jacob, and I gathered around the trashcan with Blue wrapped in a paper towel and said some words about her, thanked God for the opportunity to have cared for her and to have had her in our lives, then placed her gently in the trash.
Hud cried in my arms, while Jacob consoled him, and asked me if we might see her in Heaven. I told him I didn’t know. Then we all had a great conversation about nothing on this Earth lasting forever and enjoying one another and those we love while we still have them.
In what ways have you discussed death or handled the death of a pet with your children? I’d love to know!