My son lost his fish today. It’s his first experience with loss, and heartbreaking to watch the journey. When we told him his fish was gone he asked if he could have another. He seemed focused on that, on having a new fish. Then his focus shifted to the now dead fish in an attempt to help Daddy get it out of the tank. He didn’t seem too emotional until it came time to flush. He plopped the fish in the toilet, slowly walked towards it, said “bye bye fish” and in that moment I saw him grow up, just a bit. He gained new knowledge of the world in that split second and it broke my heart. With this new found knowledge of grief he hesitantly flushed the toilet and burst into tears. Lots of tears, snuggles, and ice cream with sprinkles, and he is now feeling more calm and falling asleep. I hope he has good dreams tonight, and that tomorrow he can be a little carefree child again. But I know that to some degree he can’t, that I saw him grow up today and feel a touch of the sorrow that this world has to offer.
Bye bye fishy. Thank you for bringing my son joy through your life.