Friday, October 1, 2010

The Funeral

It was unexpected. We didn't even know he was ill. We watched him throughout the day and oh, the tears... I can't begin to tell you how many tears were shed over him as he slipped away from us. When that moment arrived, when we all knew it was the end, the funeral arrangements began. Because of the obvious sorrow, I stepped back and allowed the children to do their own thing, planning and organizing, carrying furniture out of the house and dressing themselves "appropriately". Terry and I didn't know what to expect as we were asked to attend the memorial.

We were each asked to say a few words about Jack, to share a memory. We obliged. It was easy because we all had experienced some memorable moment with him.

Terry was a little over the top but I think it seemed sincere.

Meghan, being the most heart-broken, shared her feelings about the life that Jack had lived.

We all paid our respect before the burial.

Oliver said, "He was beeeautiful."

We gathered around and said our goodbyes to our beloved fish and Terry lowered him into the ground.

There were even real tears (mostly because of her part of the funeral being overlooked--which was quickly remedied... thankfully).

Molly, the ever-lovin' snacker, passed out treats she had collected from the cupboards as "funeral refreshments".
As we dragged chairs along the grass and tidied up the remains of the ceremony, Terry thought he'd just throw a thought out there into the thick, somber air... "Wanna go pick out some new fish later on?"
Emily jumped up, nearly knocking her brother over and squealed, "Yes! Oh, yes! You're the best Daddy ever! Let's go!" She grabbed onto my husband's leg, giggling. He squeezed her small frame and replied laughing, "Well, you grieve quickly!"

Here is what Meghan posted on her own private blog (just to give you her perspective)...

Yes, the title says it, we had a funeral. Not your typical funeral where you go to a funeral home and then to the grave site and there are dozens of people, but one right in our own backyard. With the tractor running, and the customers walking around at the nursery possibly glancing through the giant windows every now and then into our backyard to see what we're doing. We had set up benches out onto the grass all somewhat circling the place where we will say our speeches, and I had made a {quite lousy} sign that hung on one piece of string tied to the two pillars of the under deck.

Daddy came home for lunch and that was our cue to get into our black dresses and other black clothing for the boys {although most didn't put black on just because}. Daddy fetched the dead smelly body from the garage and put it in a box. We all trotted out side one of us holding the box carefully. We placed the box down on the grass with the benches all around. We sat. It was my turn to say something that we liked about the fish or a memory that we will keep forever. After we all had a turn, we walked under the sign and under the deck. We buried him right where we will bury our other animals when they die. {Of course we already had other deaths of animals, but it wasn't until today that Molly had her great idea of having a funeral}.

We placed the bottom of our old deck table over the spot where we buried him so that wild animals will smell the dead fish but through a fit not being able to get at it. After this we sang "From the Rising Of the Sun". Molly had brought some treats out so we had them.It was a beautiful day with coloured leaves, and pink blossoms scattered where we were having the funeral {not planned at all!} The breeze gently blew our hair and cooled our necks. Perfect weather for a funeral.

Jack, we will all miss you dreadfully. Even though you are a fish, you were like a friend to me. When I sat on the leather couch beside the aquarium read my Bible, you would always watch with curiosity and wonder. Even though we are to get dozens of new colourful fish in our aquarium now to keep Twinkle Twinkle happy, no one could replace you. We will miss you even though we were waiting until we could get more fish because the lady said you would eat them all.

Love, Meghan Grace


Wanting What I Have said...

Oh...I'm not sure what to say. I recall waiting until my father was gone to work to have our fish funerals. He always insisted on a royal flush. :) Your children are precious. I read this and my heart felt a little heavy for them, but I was also smiling. And I adore your daughter's entry about the funeral. You have a sweet family!

Camille said...

At first I thought someone in the family had suddenly passed away! BUT...a FISH?!! You got me Heather! Too cute! Love Meghan's post about it...I will go tell her so. :)

Have a great day!

Tightwad In Training said...

too sweet...i also thought someone in the family passed away...thankfully it was only the fish. Although I know that letting go of the beloved pet is hard.

Much love,


The Maretzki Family said...

I too, thought that someone in your family had died! (although fish is in your family) Meghan's post was very thoughtful. I'm sure you'll miss Jack very much. We've also had a few fish die and we usually buried them, too. Sometimes it was a water burial....;)

Craig and Bethany said...

Meghan, you are an outstanding writer! I almost didn't notice when the prose switched from your momma to you. You should keep writing LOTS!

Great post.