Monday, January 26, 2009

Our First Burial At Sea

We gave Doc Brown a fish tank for Christmas.  We also gave him two goldfish to go with it.

Now we're down to one.  

Saturday night we discovered the goldfish Doc had lovingly named Blue Fish laying at the bottom of the tank.  Aren't they supposed to float?  The cause of death is yet to be determined.  PB thinks the water was a problem, but I'm leaning toward morbid obesity.  The thing had tripled in size in a month.

Doc coped by taking a hands-on approach with the funeral arrangements.  He carefully scooped Blue Fish out of the tank and was the one to give the final flush sending his pet to fishy heaven (although Doc explained to me that there is no such thing as fishy heaven so there's one theological minefield averted).  Obi Wan-da offered commentary in her own pragmatic way, "Why are his eyes open?  Shouldn't they be closed?"  She also delicately broke the news to the remaining fish, Water, "Sorry Water.  Blue Fish is dead.  I hope you don't die."

Death is one of those things I wish I could protect my kids from .  I've been dreading the day our aging dog leaves us and I don't even want to think about the loss of a loved one.  But I know it will happen so I'm thankful that Blue Fish is a relatively harmless way to stick our toe in the water... so to speak.

It's been interesting watching how Doc has handled the whole thing.  He hasn't shed any tears, but his sadness has come out in other ways such as the way he keeps checking on Water and how he had a hard time sleeping Saturday night.  I know it's just a fish, but I hope we'll use this opportunity to watch Doc's reaction so we can learn how to better help him when he's sad.  I also hope we're laying the groundwork so he feels secure talking to us about his feelings.

We've told Doc that once we're sure we've got the tank's water under control he can pick out a new fish.  Doc's already told us he wants to name it Blue Fish... not Blue Fish 2, the second or Junior... just Blue Fish.  That's not weird, right?


Cheryl said...

does he like Dr. Suess? I always liked Blue Fish myself, standing there all friendly like... (there's no Blue Fish 2 though there's counting 2 fish!)

Cheryl said...

I think I misspelled Dr. Seuss... yep I did, sorry ;)

Andrea said...

I think it's sweet that he wants to name his new fish the same as his previous fish.

ann marie said...

I remember our first fish death. It was pretty sad for my son, who was 4 at the time AND he blamed himself. It was so pathetic. I felt horrible for him because he was heartbroken. I really did not expect him to be so crushed.
My kids have taken to trying to save all sorts of wounded animals and truth be told, I think it's a good way to ease them into the harder things in life, because those harder things do come.
I hope your son is feeling better now.
oh, my word verification was cluta. I think that's the way someone from Brooklyn would say clutter.

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