My dog, Bobo, died today. He was a little over a year old. He will be missed. Last night he wasn't home and Logan drove around the neighborhood looking for him. I went to bed hoping he'd be there when I woke up - he wasn't. On the way home from Mommy and Me as I was driving up the freeway off ramp there he lay on the side of the road. My doggy was dead. I looked away in pain and drove the rest of the way home with a heavy heart. I turned off my car, called Logan and started to bawl.
I told Logan Bobo was dead and he was on the side of the road. Logan was on speakerphone and told me he was coming home to bury Bobo after wrapping up a few details at the office.
I didn't think Sadie, my two and a half year old, was listening or even cared about what I was saying. Boy was I wrong.
"Mommy, Bobo is dead? He's coming home now, right?" Sadie asked me in her innocent voice.
"No, Sadie, he's dead. He isn't coming home." That's when her tears started. Sadie cried on and off unsure of the situation.
When Logan came home we were both surprised by Bobo's body missing from the place I had seen him. Within the hour between my sighting and Logan coming home someone had picked up Bobo's body. There would be no closure of burying his body, of having a resting place we could visit when we wanted to say hello. Bobo had died and then disappeared.
As Sadie continued to cry on and off about Bobo dying I remembered a story my parents had told me when my cat had died when I was little. They told me my cat had gotten married and I would not see him anymore. I spent years on my bike looking for him, wondering if every orange cat I saw was my married cat. I decided Sadie thinking her dog got married was better than thinking he was dead - so I told her he got married.
I was wrong. The message became confusing. Now Sadie was repeating that Bobo had died, gotten hit by a car, had an owie and was married. All of a sudden I had ruined marriage for Sadie. Death and marriage were in the same line of reasoning. Not exactly what I meant to do. I had hoped to eliminate the concept of death completely and replace it with Bobo being a married man, err dog.
I called Logan's aunt, a child psychologist, who explained it was important for Sadie to know the whole truth and to erase the myth of Bobo's marriage. It was important for her to understand he was hit by a car and had died and would not be coming back. An uncomfortable conversation I did not wish to have for many more years. Who knew a toddler could even remotely understand the concept of death?
Meet the Blogger!
I'm a mom. A writer. A lover of good fantasy. A proponent of nursing when possible. A birth advocate. I am absolutely horrible at keeping my house clean or the dishes washed or the laundry done. I strongly believe in women having a positive birth. When we start to respect women's rights to birth the way they want, we can start to treat women as equal people in this world.
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