When I came home from work yesterday, I had to bury a body in my backyard. Unfortunately, it was not the body of one of my enemies. No, it was my daughter’s fish, Kiki.
This was actually the second Kiki. We were able to find a good enough replacement for the first one before Baby E even noticed that something was seriously wrong. She noticed that Kiki suddenly looked a little smaller but my wife and I told her that Kiki had lost weight because she was sick. I don’t know if she bought that completely, but she went along with it.
This time, however, she saw Kiki 2.0 laying on its side, not moving, before we could try to hide it from her. I stuck the net in the tank and the fish moved away from it, but not much. Baby E was crying when I left for work. I tried to calm her down by telling her that Kiki was still moving, therefore was still alive. She knew, though. She knew Kiki wouldn’t last much longer.
Sure enough, Mrs. Revis texted me about halfway through my work day to tell me that Kiki was no longer with us and my daughter was inconsolable. I called and talked to her for a few minutes. It was heartbreaking.
“I miss Kiki!”
“I don’t want her to go!”
“We need to get another fish and name it Kiki too!”
It took a lot of work, but between us, Mrs. Revis and I calmed her down. Now the problem was what to do with Kiki. With the first Kiki, we flushed it down the toilet and Baby E was never the wiser. This time, she kind of flipped out when it was suggested. I said that maybe we should put Kiki in the river behind our house. She didn’t like that idea either. No, we had to bury Kiki in the backyard.
“That way Kiki will always be with us.”
So… that’s what I did.
She was more calm today. She was still sad about her fish dying, but she was able to talk about it without crying, which was good. I don’t know how much more of it I could take.
I can handle anything you throw at me, but not that. Watching my child weep uncontrollably is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. What made it worse is that there was nothing I could do or say that would make it ok that her pet had just died.
I don’t even want to think about what will happen the first time someone she knows passes away. If I couldn’t handle this, I sure as hell won’t be able to handle that.