adoption, family, kids, parenting

The Heart of A Child

The burial services for our family bird “CHARLIE”, was unlike anything I had ever attended.

I admit, I'm not overly sentimental with the animal burials…especially since the burials that have happened around here are that of fish, frogs, and hermit crabs. I have NEVER attended one of these past experiences, and now I wish I had.

My daughter was sobbing off and on all night, but wanted to wait until her older sister got home to bury her pet. I knew her sister wouldn't care about the bird, but would be nuturing to her baby sister…So, we waited.

She picked the spot were she wanted him to be burried, and wanted to dig the hole herself. I found myself amazed, as she took such gentle care, to wrap that tiny bird in the colored paper, and then slowly and delicately placed it in the hole. She had picked a variety of flowers to place on top of him, both for inside the grave and out.

Before covering him with dirt, she looked at me with tears in her eyes, and said “How can I put dirt on there without hurting him”? I told her about how this was just Charlie's body, his spirit is most likely in heaven with God. She nodded her understanding, and wanted us to stand in a circle, holding hands, so we could have a prayer.

She asked me if I would start because she didnt know what she was going to say yet. I felt a tad silly, but I could see how important it was, so I started praying. I said my favorite memories of Charlie, and asked God to help us find a way to go on, without this precious bird, and then squeezed her hand.

Her tears overcame her as she said the most wonderful things about that bird and then asked God to please take care of him. I admit I choked up…and a tear may have dripped down. 🙂

My oldest son thought this was stupid, and did not want to participate, so he just squeezed the next hand. My sweet oldest daughter said uplifting words to her sister, and squeezed the hand of my fourth child….my tough as nails son.

He was praying hard, and his body convulsed with tears. He could barely get his sentences out. I had no idea that this was ailing him so bad. My heart broke for him, as this had been his bird first….A Christmas gift from a few years back.

As we stood at the grave site, the moment was ruined when my oldest two children started whining “Can we go in now. We are getting eaten up by mosquitoes”. I nodded in their direction, but the other two stayed behind. They helped each other fill in the dirt, they placed the flowers on top, and they made a stake with Charlie's name to identify where he was.

I was taken aback. How could these little beings know how to go through a process like this, with such heart felt emotion. They knew precisely what to do. They certainly hadn't been to ALOT of funerals.

I started wondering about how many hardships they had gone through in their little lives, both prior to moving in here, and while living here. I wondered when their coping skills kicked in, and I wondered if my son wasn't mourning something even more than the bird in front of us.

I was full of love for my children in this instance.

Sometimes we can learn ALOT of things from our children, if we choose to listen.

I'm so glad I attended the services. 🙂



7 thoughts on “The Heart of A Child

  1. Your post to me spoke volumes on the journey of parenting. Before we have children we know exactly how to be good parents, but the longer we are parents the more we realize, we learn something new every day. After twenty two years I feel less secure as a parent than ever before. And I think that makes me a better parent.
    I really enjoyed this post, having been to quite a number of pet funerals through the years.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it:). It was my first pet funeral, but I plan to attend more! The more I hear about you, the more I am certain that you are a fabulous mother!

      • Thank you. My first child caused us all sorts of heartache with a temper that was worryingly out of control as a young teenager. We really struggled and I mean really as this was on a scale far left of normal. I had three more but never reached that level of disaster with them. I am strongly of the opinion it was my parenting that changed not my children. Thankfully teenage years do end and she is a ray of sunshine in all our lives now. Who would have thought it!

  2. Tia
    I have to tell you this one made me cry. This was beautiful. You are an amazing writer, and an amazing mother. You should be proud of your kids. They are going to grow up knowing from where they came, and how much you cared for them. Thanks for sharing. You inspire me an many others too. Stay strong mom.

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