An Epitaph to a Fish

Here lies little blue fishie,
In a pink polka dot box,
I didn’t know her when she lived,
But I’ll miss her now she’s gone.

Oh the tears the tears!

As we had breakfast this morning, I spotted a female guppy, floating belly-up. As we proceeded to remove the expired fish (destined for the compost collection), Georgia’s lower lip starts quivering, then her eyes start reddening and welling up, and in a blink, we have grief in full force.

Horrible as it may sound, it was rather difficult to make sense of it all, from a Parenting perspective. That one guppy was actually one of about 50, with more new babies too. Georgia had not actually formed any real attachment to that fish in particular.

In fact, in a later conversation, while she was still upset….
Me: The blue fishie is OK. She’s just gone on to a different place now.
G: It was a blue fishie?…..but I will miss that blue fishie.

But then as we know, we all deal with grief in different ways. Perhaps G was really thinking of something else, and the fish provided an ‘outlet’. Whatever the cause, it was quite an interesting lesson in the full circle of life, and because I subscribe to Buddhist-type beliefs, it was a great lesson on the impermanance of life.

Thankfully, school today provided a much needed distraction. Although it pretty much set the tone for the day.

We promised her ‘closure’, so we made a coffin (origami paper box), she founds some daisies and other bits to put in it. And because she’s been doing prayers in school, we said a little one for the fish.

Fishie go to sleep and rest now
You’ll be happy now.

Phew! I’m glad it’s tomorrow in 5 minutes time.

© 2011, Li-ling. All rights reserved.


  • I love that she didn’t know it was the “blue fishie”. Watch out if you get a cuddly pet! It’s been seven years and I’m still trying to get over the death of the cat we had when I was a child!

    • That bit was rather hilarious actually, not that we laughed out loud, but she was so focussed on the event itself. I keep debating a cuddly pet, I would so love a dog, but time, oh time! 🙂

  • I feel your pain! my beloved fish passed away last week and i blogged his final moments!

    stay strong 🙂

    • hehehe…i’d recommend you get another…after all an empty tank =a wasted tank 😉

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