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November 02, 2002

Grief

It had to happen. Kelly's fish, already named Rose, kicked it yesterday. Belly up and all that. I had taken the day off as Kelly had no school, and Jean needed to work/study. We went to see The Santa Clause 2, which was painless and at times actually fun. Then Kelly and I went to Gameswitch to pick out a couple of Gameboy Color games for her Christmas stocking. When we got home, after those two cheerful field trips, we received the baleful news.

Kelly really took it hard. Perhaps more dramatically than the event required, as she'd had the fish for less than 24 hours. But I remember being broken up quite severely by the death of a moth when I was a kid, so I gave her the big shoulder to cry on. And cry she did. It was really painful to watch.

I then cut up some honeydew and pretty much hand-fed her, as all she'd had since lunch was popcorn and Halloween candy. After that I got her some noodle soup, and she began to feel better. She was still sad about the loss, but it was no longer that "why did Rose have to leave this Earth so soon?" theatrics.

This morning Kelly had a funeral for Rose, digging the grave herself, holding a eulogy, and marking the grave with a popsicle stick cross. I struggled to keep a straight face when Kelly was making the cross, as she was humming a funeral dirge to herself while she worked. But she was clearly deadly serious, even though the immediate grief had receded.

Now that afternoon has arrived, she seems to have put it behind her, though she's already asked for two fish. I'm guessing the operating theory is that each fish can look after the other, or keep it from dying of loneliness. I dunno. But I guess we'll be stopping by the pet shop tomorrow, since we are going to the mall to hunt for Christmas presents.

Posted by dpwakefield at November 2, 2002 04:07 PM