[Gpdd] RAINBOW BRIDGE - Thank you for the condolences!

Elly Takaki elftak2003 at yahoo.ca
Sun May 7 23:10:36 EDT 2006

I just wanted to say thank you so much for the condolences. I'm so deeply touched that so many people took the time to email me a note of condolence and helpful advice, as well as encouragement that I did my best and not to feel guilty. Your wonderful kind words helped me immensely.

I just want to relate how things went and the bits of comic relief thanks to my four-year-old, Nicklas.

I was very upset that night, of course, when we had to tell Nicklas about Caramel's death. I read online that the best way to deal with it is to be honest, don't use euphamisms, etc. so that's what we did. Nicklas really didn't understand death completely. Immediately he wanted to see Caramel and touch her, and then when he asked what we should do, we told him that we would have to bury her. He wanted to do it right away, which caught me off-guard as I didn't know if I was ready. I was crying at that point, but my husband thought we should go with whatever Nicklas wanted and I agreed.

On the way outside, Nicklas wanted to carry Caramel's body. As he held her, I heard him saying quietly "Wake up Caramel! Open your eyes!" which made us laugh. You have to understand that Nicklas, after an initial bit of tears and confusion, was pretty upbeat by this time. When we went to put her in the ground, Nicklas said "She's going to have a GREAT time down there!" 

After we buried her, we each said a prayer and lit a candle. Then after some tears (mine) we started to go inside. Nicklas happily suggested "We can just get ANOTHER guinea pig. And if that one dies, we can get another one. And if that one dies, we can get another one. We can bury ALL the animals." This was said with a sweeping arm gesture and a happy tone that seemed to encompass all the prime cemetary land that is our yard. I still laugh when I think of it. I told him that we could get another guinea pig, but it won't be Caramel. He said "but we can just call her Caramel." Optimistic to the last!

The next morning he asked to go check on Caramel as soon as he woke up so we went to her grave. I had to explain that once an animal is buried, we don't dig them up again (so disappointing). I think he wanted to see if she was okay. I tried to explain the whole "empty shell" concept of the body and mentioned the soul but these are abstract concepts, difficult for a four-year-old. Still, I think it was a good "circle of life" kind of lesson and my husband and I thought it went pretty well. Nicklas seemed more distressed that I kept crying on the night she died, but by Wednesday, after the burial and reading many of your emails, I felt much better.

Thank you for the sympathy, the information (it does sound like CHF, thank you for the post and no worries about the he/she confusion!) and all the warmth and kindness in your emails and post.

You guys are the best! Warmest wishes to all slaves and wheekers, and condolences to those who have lost a dear pig recently, or long ago. (Condolences to Ophelia's loving slave).


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