The rest of the morning is filled with tears and explanations about life and death and the incredibly short life spans of fish/rodents/cats/dogs. This is normally shortly followed by explanations about the average life span of humans and how, “no, I will not be dropping dead tomorrow like the fish/rodent/cat/dog did todayâ€.
Then comes the burial. The coffin is typically what is at hand. The box fromÂ the totally cute pair of shoes bought last week or the box from that really awesomeÂ book you ordered from Amazon 2 days ago (they ship fast). These toss offs from commercial purchases take on suddenly greater spiritual duties.
Then there is the hole in the garden. Â Normally dug by a parent then filled in by a child. Our children hold very real mock funerals for what we know is practice for the very real thing to come some day soon.
Sometimes the vet can talk us into cremation or pet cemeteries, but the fact of the matter is we feel better when we bring these pets home. Â Our gardens are safe places for the mortuary remains of fond furry memories. They are places that our children can visit when the mood strikes them… someday, even after we have moved on. “Ma’am, you don’tÂ know me, but I lived here once and my favorite pet is buried in your backyard. Can I stop by?â€ Who would deny such a request?
Here lies Speedy, faithful pet rat for one year to his owner Logan (who is six). Speedy’s life was tragically shortened by a stroke. May he rest in peace in perpetuity under the peonies and ash tree, next to the other much beloved pets that came before him.