Friday, 9 November 2012

Bessie, Sophie, Louise and Inky

A few years ago I had a beautiful puppy named Bessie, I loved her. Zach loved her. She was sweet. She died in November 2008. I was devastated, Dim had moved out a year and a half before that, but was still tooing and froing and coming and going. He was wrecked about her dying as well.
He dropped Zach off at child care, then picked Bessie up from the vet, brought her home and dug a hole for her to be buried. He didn't want Zach to see Bessie dead. Zach was nearly four.
Four years later Zach still asks about Bessie whenever the topic of death comes up. I told Zach that Bessie was dead, explained as best I could, he didn't understand until a year later when both guinea pigs Sophie and Louise died. When he saw what dead was, and that they were being buried, he wanted to know where Bessie was buried. A few times he tried to dig her up, he wanted to see her. He never tried to dig up Sophie or Louise, I think because he saw them dead, he saw them buried, case closed.
Friday night I discovered Inky the Siamese fighter was dead, sunk at the bottom of his bowl. Zach howled and wanted me to call the fish hospital. We left Inky in his bowl that night. That night we talked about what happens at funerals. I said people say prayers and talk about the person who died, usually nice things are said. Zach liked that.
Saturday morning, we found a little box, put in some cotton wool, a bit of fabric, laid Inky inside, then another bit if fabric on top off him. We were having visitors that morning, so the funeral would have to wait until the afternoon. Zach took pride in showing a dead Inky in his coffin to our visitors. Zach wanted a tombstone, so I found a big flat Pebble from the garden and wrote Inky with red nail polish on it. Zach wanted numbers on it, but no room for dates.
He choose a spot under some flowers for the burial site, daisies.
I dug the hole, put in Inky and covered him up and Zach put down the tombstone. I asked Zach "did you want to say anything, like Inky was a good pet" he did.
He said "Dear God, Inky was a good pet, in Jesus name, Amen." I like it, he combined eulogy and prayer, Mr Efficient.
The next day he asked again about Bessie dying. I asked him if he would feel better if we gave Bessie and the guinea pigs tombstones, yes he would. So I found a few more stones and wrote their names on them. First to the area by the front door "Dear God, Bessie was a good pet, in Jesus name, Amen"
Then to the back courtyard "Dear God, Sophie and Louise were good pets, in Jesus name, Amen"
I asked Zach if he felt better because we gave our pets tombstones
"Yes" then he went off to play in the toyroom
I think the ritual of a funeral and saying good bye is needed, sometimes even for a fish named Inky


  1. What a lovely idea...may need to think of little tombstones for our pets that have left us... PS How did your chicken coop end up?