I walked into the room the girls were playing and happily greeted me. I then went to say hello to our beloved goldfish and there he was pale orange, floating at the top lifeless. I took a moment and then explained to the girls, who hadn’t noticed, that Max had died. The younger one went on playing while my oldest broke into tears. We sat and cuddled and talked about our fond memories of Max and how he would spit out the stones in the bottom of the tank and sometimes jump out of the water and hit the lid.
My oldest had “won” Max at a fair three years ago. She didn’t actually get a ball into a fish bowl, which is what was needed to win, but much to my dismay the man gave her a fish anyway. We gave Max a week in a small bowl and said that if he survived we would get him a proper fish tank. The week passed and we went and got him his very own tank where he has lived happily until yesterday.
After dinner we found a nice container and placed Max in it. The girls picked a lovely spot under a rhododendron and helped to dig the hole for Max. My youngest found a piece of wood and asked if we could decorate it for Max so we wrote his name and the date and the girls wrote “I ? U Max” all over it. The girls said their final goodbyes and we placed Max in the ground and put up the marker we had made. As we were walking inside the youngest was asking a lot of questions about Max and death and then finally said. “If we want to see him again we can just dig him up.” and when we started to explain how you can’t do that and that that’s why we say goodbye. Well that’s when it hit her and she started to cry. We had many other questions throughout the night like Can you see when you’re dead? It was the girls first time dealing with death and I expect many many more questions over the next couple of days.