I rushed into a room full of weeping and wailing to find my son sprawled across a floor full of tears. I’m panicked, looking for blood or broken bone in between his screams of, “OH LAWD, WHY, WHY,WHY?” sounding like a cross of between the beginning of an old Negro spiritual and the sounds of Nettie from Color Purple being dragged from the house. Then he points across the room, mid moan. I squint to see Goldie, belly up, floating across his fish bowl.
This is not his first death experience. In fact Goldie was our third fish. The first was Bob. He came and told me matter-of-factly, “Bob is dead. I took him out of the bowl to pet him and he just stopped playing.”
Grandma died earlier this year. That was his first consciousness of death. I pulled him in my arms and embraced him realizing he had made the full connection of loving and losing.