When Grief Gives Way to New Love

Tears for my goldfish led to a new puppy.

BY: Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway


I remember the day our two goldfish died. They were my son Alexander’s first pets in our new house, and I had single-handedly kept them alive for three years—an outstanding accomplishment in itself! I got so used to seeing those little fish faces swimming to the surface to say hi! . . . okay, to get food. Still, they were like family. They lived so long, I never thought they would go. The day I walked into Alexander’s room and saw one of them on its side, barely breathing, I was devastated. I got a straw and blew bubbles into their tank, hoping it would be like mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Frantic, I called my nephew the animal expert—he had given the fish to us—for advice. He told me once they start floating on their sides, they are close to the end. I couldn’t believe it. I went online, seeking a miracle cure to stop a goldfish from dying. Every time I looked into the tank and saw our sweet pet struggling for breath, tipping over more and more to its side, I prayed that he would right himself. But it was futile. I was shocked at how unwilling I was to let him die. And then, when I realized how much he was suffering, I sat and kept a vigil with him, telling him it was okay to let go. When he finally took his last breath, it became clear that his tank mate was close behind.

I couldn’t imagine that the second fish would want to stay there alone. They’d been together from the start.

When the first one passed, I took him into the yard in a brand-new Tupperware container and held a wake (attended only by me and a few bugs). I didn’t want to bury him, because I knew the other one was close behind and wanted them to be together.

Within two days, both our fish were dead. I was amazed at the tears I shed.

Continued on page 2: On a Friday morning... »

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Related Topics: Pet, Pets, Pets Prayers, Angel Pets, Animals