I had early this morning, a panicked and very devestated little voice came running down the hallway screaming, "He died! Jack died! Jack's gone, Mom! He died! He's dead!
As I pealed my eyes open and adjusted their focus I found my dear, sweet, kind-hearted DS3 holding a tiny orange and white fish in his outstretched hands with huge tears pouring from his eyes.
"Mama," he said in a soft, sorrowful voice, "Jack died...he was stuck to dat fing that hangs down in da tank. My Jack is gone..."
This is quite the load of emotion to wake up to first thing for a young man of 6 years old who has never had a pet die before. Sure, he as seen several of his sisters fish die, even a snail but, he has never experienced the pain of his own pet, who he named, who he fed and who he loved, die.
I could look into his beautiful blue eyes and see his poor little heartbreaking right before my eyes. His sensitive heart...
So, I climbed out of bed, gathered the two kids and I in the official fish burial center, thinking we had better get it from out of his hands before we did too much more. DS3 got to say a few words about his wonderful fish friend, Jack.
Allow me, then, to share Jack, the fish we have had since Saturday who DS3 had fallen madly in love with, through DS3's eyes: Jack was a friendly fish and he made all the other fish his friends. He missed his other fish friends from the petstore but he was very happy in his new home. He loved to swim in the bubble wall and ride the bubbles all the way to the top, and I loved him so very much.
We then flushed our dear friend, Jack and waved saying our goodbyes as we gave Jack a proper sea(?) burial. I then spoke to DS3 about the realities of death and how sometimes these things happen, accidents will happen, pets & people will get sick and sometimes die. I told him how its ok for him to be sad for a while and very ok for him to miss Jack and I told him how this is an example of a time when we can truly turn to God for comfort. God can help us to not feel sad about Jack anymore - not that we have to forget about him but that it is not healthy for us to stay sad for a very long time, how there is a season for sadness just like there is a season for winter and it seems harsh, hard, cold and dark but then it comes spring and new life comes popping out and it becomes bright and cheery and warm and the leaves start to come out and bring people hope. He seemed ok after that, a little more calm, but then I told him that I would share Herman, my fish, with him - not that Herman can ever replace Jack in his heart but so that he can still help take care of the fish, I will make him co-owner...
So, here's to you, Jack
You WERE a good fish and you had an owner who loved you more than you could ever comrehend.