So, I asked him, how’s it going at school, and how are you doing about Brownie?
“I’m fine. I’m done. I was really sad all morning, but then we went to guidance and we wrote our favorite memories about Brownie. And in the afternoon, I wasn’t sad anymore. But the girls… they just keep crying about it.”
Later that night, at bedtime I was too tired to read them stories, so I collapsed on the couch with my 9 year old. My little ones were building train tracks. They switched off the lights to watch the trains circle the tracks with their lights on.
As we sat in the dark, I told my 9-year old that I actually had a nightmare about Brownie and it still bothers me. He said, it’s just awful that Brownie died right in front of you. He wondered if Brownie could have been saved. How disappointed he was that he didn’t get a full weekend with Brownie. How would he feel if Brownie died before our weekend?
Soon the little ones came and joined us, the trains still running. More Brownie talk. Is she still here? Why can’t I touch her?
Silently, while they chatted, I thought about this corner of my living room where Brownie left us, and how I think about her death every time I walk by. Brownie and her cage are no longer here, but she left something behind here. Do I dread it or feel honored? I felt privileged to be at my Mom’s death. Is Brownie’s death no less of a privilege?
Thank you Brownie. You’ve made it much easier for these little guys to ponder and grapple with the tough questions of life and death.