Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Luke Comes to Grips with Mortality

Luke's fish died.

Just before I was going to put the boys down for the evening, Wendy came upstairs and mentioned to me in a somber whisper, "Luke's fish died. Should we tell him now, or should we wait till the morning?"

I couldn't stand the idea of my son sleeping peacefully while his fish was belly up in the tank, so I said she better go tell him right away. Plus, I was indexing a user guide, and I needed the extra time.

A minute or so later, I heard loud crying. Weeping. Wailing.

"KAREN IS DEAD! OH NO! KAREN? KAREN!"

I would have laughed, but the poor kid was genuinely distraught. Should I tell him about Fish Heaven? In Fish Heaven, the most obedient fish attain the highest kingdom. Should I tell him that a fish dies like any animal? When we die, our consciousness ceases, our body rots, and that's the end of the miracle we call life. I suppose I could always go the vague reincarnation route. When we die, we become something different, but no one knows what.

I didn't tell him anything, because anything I said would have meant nothing. Luke had his own cross to bear.

It was a sad day for him. I wasn't particularly fond of Karen. He was a violent fish who ate his own feces. But Luke loved him. Or he loved having him.

R.I.P. Karen
2008-2008