Good Friday? Well…not really.
So today’s Good Friday
Randy went out as usual to check on our remaining rabbit (our other rabbit having passed away this last fall–another story for another time) this morning. It was a beautiful, sunshiny day, school was out, we all slept in (which means until almost 8 a.m. for some of us!), no work to do…and one dead rabbit lay in her outdoor cage. Yep, folks, the last rabbit bit the dust, and no, I haven’t overlooked the irony that it’s Easter time, though thankfully the kids are spared this bit of dark humor due to their age. I’m not sure why it’s called “Good” Friday since it commemorates Jesus’ death, but perhaps in that way it’s even more ironic.
As to the cause, there looked to be no foul play, so I’m guessing it was a heart attack for some reason. She’s been in her cage outside at night before and she has a little house to hole up in out there, but most likely something frightened her.
Well, I’m not ashamed to say that I used this opportunity to introduce the concept of “death is a part of life” to Olivia. The kids have an idea about this, of course…we’ve talked about Jesus and his death on the cross and other things; but to see it up close and personal is another matter. She asked to see Connie and Randy and I thought it would be good for her to start with this “viewing.” What I mean is…she’s going to lose real loved ones some day. I think family pets are a helpful introduction to this grim aspect of life.
Well, her soft little heart was saddened, of course, and I held her as the tears fell. I then related to her that I had also lost some beloved pets of mine in the past (since we grew up out in the country, adopting any kind of creature that came our way, I’ve lost loads of pets). She was curious about this and asked me what my favorite pets were and their names. This is something I’ve noticed with Olivia. If she’s having a tough time with something and I let her know that I also had to go through that at one point, it really helps her. I think in this case, it helped her understand what I meant by “these things happen, sometimes animals-and people-die.” After that she settled down and it wasn’t long before we talked about a box to put Connie in and what the burial rites would include.
So some of you might be wondering…what did Chris think about all of this? Granted, he wasn’t the main caregiver of little Constance, but he played occasionally with her and helped feed her sometimes. During the whole drama of the morning he had been in the thick of things building transformers with his legos. We were all in the kitchen going in and out the door to the little yard Connie’s cage was in. As Olivia settled into sniffles, Chris finally looked up from his work, looked at Olivia and asked:
“What’s wrong with Olivia? Why is she crying?”
“Well, Chris [I decided to give it to him straight]…Connie died today.”
[Eyes big as saucers] *gasp* “What? She died!?”
“Can I see?”
He went outside and took a look. Randy said he kind of shrugged his shoulders and looked a little indifferent. He went back inside and asked if I would play transformers with him. Obviously, Chris was in no way traumatized by his first encounter with death. As for Alex, he was pretty much oblivious.
Ah well…by some of us, at least, you will be fondly remembered Connie…rest in peace.