May 26, 2010

The Fish Funeral

R.I.P.

Today our beloved pet goldfish (inconsistently named Nemo, Sharky, and Dr. Wimpy) kicked the bucket. The official cause of death is unknown but contributing factors may include old age and gluttony.

A few days ago, one of my children confused "a pinch of food" with a cup.

Kellen was the first to notice the body, and with the help of one of my soup ladles, scooped the corpse onto a paper towel.

"We should have a funeral," he said.

I agreed. A simple send off would not do for such a treasured friend; it was decided by common consensus that we would build a Viking funeral barge out of a shoebox and set the boat adrift in the current.

My neighbor declined our request to turn her outdoor hot tub into the ocean.

"We are going to have to dig a hole in the yard," I announced.

"That's so boring!" my kids whined.

"Or we could flush him down the toilet," I suggested.

This idea was something to get excited about. We drew straws to pick the actual flusher. After it was all over, we decided that Nemo/Sharky/Dr. Wimpy's journey to the other side was strangely appropriate. All currents lead to the ocean after all.

25 comments

Lissa @ MyThriftyTreasures said...

Ever seen one of the very first episodes of "The Cosby Show" where Rudy's fish dies? You needa watch it!

Anonymous said...

Funny, my grand kids just lost their first fish. Neither one was too upset about it until the fish was burried and flowers placed on the grave. That's when the 3 year old realized that he didn't get to drop Aramis in the hole. He cried about that for an hour.

Amanda said...

Make sure you let the census worker know!!!!

Molly said...

Ha ha I love how the fish has an inconsistent name. Kids are so funny.

ThePoolman said...

When we were younger, one of our goldfish died when my brother was not around. When he got home and asked what had happened to the body, I said "Dad took care of it" made an appropriate hand gesture and sound to indicate we flushed him. My bro was totally shocked and cried "NO!, you didn't!"

I asked, "What's the problem? We just flushed him down the toilet."

Brother replied in obvious relief, "Oh, that's OK. I thought you meant you put him down the garbage disposal."

WILLIAM said...

The fish's sendoff sounds like the season finale of Lost.

HW said...

When our daughter was about 6 she came home from the neighbor's church carnival with a gold fish (yeah, thanks Angie) which of course lived about 4 days. Wanting to spare her tender feelings, we replaced the fish late at night and never told her it died.

When fish #2 died, we decided it was time she learned about death. I tried a very gentle explanation about saying goodbye, blah blah blah. When she asked how we would bury it, I said "Well most people flush them down the toilet." She jumped up and down clappings and saying "Oh goody! Can I push the flusher? Please please please."

Clearly she was traumatized....

Raelin said...

My husband had purchased a fish for my two kids. Which of course means I get to clean it little bowl. One day my dear husband says he will do (because apparently that was a HUGE favor).

I told him to just becareful not to let it jump out of the water as you start to drain it.

Not 2 seconds later the fish jumps out of the dish as the water gets lower and goes right down the drain on the kitchen sink. My husband says what do we do? I told him I am not reaching in and getting it - you the fool who did it over the drain - you get it.

He just looked at me and said he wasn't touching it either. After a second of looking at each other and back to the drain - I flipped the switch.

Bluey now lives with his family back in the fresh water ocean!

Tom and Karen Mortensen said...

This was cute. I was thinking of the Cosby Show too. That was a funny episode.

The Novelist said...

I have a strange fear of fish. Once when my husband was out of town my daughters goldfish died and I could do nothing to help. I simply placed a towel over the offensive bowl and it sat there. For a week.

My husband came home to a lovely gift.

Andy said...

Eat your heart our, Scyld Scefing.

vanilla said...

The official cause of death is unknown but contributing factors may include old age and gluttony.
Perhaps, at my age, I should take more care about the consumption of comestibles.

You didn't name the Flusher?

Washington Cowgirl said...

My sister once named one of her pets RobinHoodPocahontasHonaluluHawaii Smith.
It was a very confused creature.

Sorry for your loss, maybe the kids need a puppy to recover...

I'm just me... said...

When our first fish died my husband and daughter flushed it. My daughter was fine until she realized Ruby wasn't coming back. I explained Ruby went to the ocean to live with Nemo and this satisfied her. A couple of months later we went to the beach and visited an aquarium while we were there. She was sure one of the red fish in one of the tanks was her fish Ruby and had to have her picture taken in front of it.

My Three Snakes and Snails said...

It's funny because when our fish died, I also thought that a burial would be considered more humane to my son, so I didn't bring up the alternative. When he too shot down the burial idea, I half-heartedly suggested flushing. He thought that was the coolest idea of all! Seems creepy to me... but boys surprisingly love the idea! My least favorite part was hearing the little *thud* as it collided with the edge of the bowl before it's long journey down.
To this day, I have always been a little disturbed that my son enjoyed the more non-traditional form of remembering the deceased... but now, after reading your post, I realize, boys will be boys! phew!

Melanie Gao said...

We've had several fish die over the years. For the first two or three we gave them very respectful burials in the yard. With each passing fish though we had less and less enthusiasm and now we are also at the point of flushing them down the toilet. It makes me feel better to remember, as you pointed out, that all paths lead to the ocean. :)

Brian James said...

Sharky...from The Shark Who Was Afraid of Everything by any chance?

Mrs. Ohtobe said...

At our pet store if your fish dies within a few days from purchase you can bring them back in for an exchange. Well, my son is known as the fishslayer around here and couldn't keep any of the fish alive after several purchase and exchanges. He simply scooped em out and froze them until we could make our 90th trip to the store for an exchange. I had little zip baggies of dead fish in my freezer for quite a while not to mention unappeitzing sitting next to the Gorton's!

Jen said...

When we lived about 5 houses from a forest reserve that had a creek running through it, we let our dying and dead fish have one last good swim. The kids thought they'd love the adventure and, since it was going to the Ohio River, would enjoy going down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico. We were like the travel agents for goldfish and tropical fish.

We also have let hamsters and gerbils who were really suffering go enjoy their last days in the forested reserve. I'm sure they enjoyed it.

Amber said...

True Story - we thought our fish was dead and so we dumped it in the toilet and pushed the flusher... and as soon as the water started swirling the fish started jumping around. Poor Goldie was not dead after all... but it was too late to catch her before she went for a swim down the septic river. Ooops.

Audrey Hammer said...

When our 12-cent goldfish finally died after living 3 or 4 years, my husband fed the body to the cat.

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