R.I.P. Hangry / Children Reacting to Death

Today, our beloved fighting fish, Hangry, died. 

It was a sad day. A day that I knew was coming, but still, grief comes unexpectedly. 

He was a beautiful fish. With a blue body, and red fins. He was slow, and sort of strange, but he was our fish, and we loved him.

And then the filter sucked him up, and I had to flush half of him down the toilet. It was horrible. Tragic. Preventable. 

Ok, but really. I feel terrible that the fish died. Even more so because I had to tell William that Hangry had died. William is four and a couple months. William was not prepared for Hangry to leave us.

I’ve never had to tell him something or someone has died. So, I hadn’t thought much about it. But he caught me off guard as I was dumping the ladle containing Hangry down the toilet. I just told him Hangry had died, and that it was very sad but that is what happens sometimes.

He broke down. He accused me of killing Hangry. He told me I was throwing him out the window. He then cried for half an hour. I couldn’t console him.

I didn’t think he even knew we had a fish. 

Children take things to heart. I was one of those kids who obsessed over whether or not I was going to die in my sleep as like a six year old. I understand his upset. I don’t know how to make it better, but I can say that this was probably a way better way to practice the whole “Death of a pet,” thing, considering we have a lot of other animals he actually interacts with on a daily basis.

Sheesh. I feel like a huge jerk. And I’m going to write a letter to the filter company and let them know how much they devastated my son. Because although Hangry was acting funny for about a week, dying by having half your insides eaten by a filter is a crappy way to go no matter what.

Parenting. Sigh.

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