21 November 2011

a two year old and death

Scene:  My kitchen, This morning.  

Characters:  Belle, a beagle dauschund mix who is no longer with us.
                     Pepper, a wonderful mutt of a dog who is very much with us.
                    Collins, a not-quite-2-and-a-half year old.
                    Mama, a 27-and-a-half-year old mother of three children and all sorts of animals. 
                    Sadie Macon, a 2-and-a-half-year-old dear friend of Collins's. 

Collins, singing:  Belle, Belle, Belle - where are you.  Where are you Belle?  Pepper - where is Belle?

Enters stage left: 

Collins:  "Where is Belle, Mama?"

Mama, looking quite sad:  "Belle is not here anymore, Collins."

            [We had to put Belle to sleep in July.]

Collins:  "Belle is coming back to my house today."

Mama:  "No, she's not, darling.  Belle died, remember?"

Collins:  "Belle will come back to the backyard today."

Mama, fighting tears at this point:  "No, she's not coming back, sweetie"

Collins:  "I love Belle.  Belle and Pepper.  Belle is coming home to play with Pepper today."

Mama:  "I'm so glad you loved Belle, and that you love Pepper, but Collins, sweetheart.  Belle is not coming back."

Collins, looking pensive, dramtic pause: "Okay.  Sadie Macon is coming to my  backyard today then?" 

This serves as yet another reminder that they are people - individuals entirely separate from us - with an internal life, to which we are not privileged in anything close to its entirety. 

Four months later, having not said a word about it in at least three of those months, Collins going through his own grief process?

Or just saw a bell pepper in the refrigerator?

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