A Death in the Family

A few months ago, Dennis, 6-Year Old Daughter’s fish, quietly passed away in his sleep. They were very close to one another so there was a tremendous amount of weeping and sorrow and mourning. The only thing she didn’t do was sit shiva or wear black. We let some time pass in order to be respectful to Dennis and last month I bought Goldie, Dennis’s replacement. This morning I changed the water and we went out for the afternoon. I must have done something to the water because when we came home, Goldie was dead, dead, dead.

Mrs. Wife sat 6-Year Old Daughter down and said, “I have something to tell you and it’s sad. Goldie died while we were out.” “Oh,” was all she said. “C’mon,” I said, “We’ll go up to your room, get her out of her bowl, take her out back and bury her.” I took her hand, walked up the stairs, opened her door and she looked into Goldie’s bowl.

“Well,” she said, “that’s certainly an odd way to float. Listen, can we get a cat or a dog this time? I’m sick of these fish dying on me.” I asked if she still wanted to bury her and she said, with very little enthusiasm, “I guess so.” I told her that we could just as easily flush her down the toilet and she said, “Yea! Let’s do that! But I get to flush her!”

She’s better at letting go than I’ll ever be.

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