Parenting: Saying Goodbye to Our Hermit Crab

September 13, 2010

It lasted 2 days.

It didn't exactly die, but we LOST it in a hotel in Ocean City, NJ. We won't be allowed back to that nice establishment!

So, then it was my second daughter's turn. She spent a week on vacation last June picking out the perfect hermit crab. To her credit, she took care of "Light" faithfully every day.

We're not exactly sure when he died. But, last month she mentioned to me that she didn't need to feed him because he doesn't eat anymore! Yep, he was a goner.

She was so upset, I wanted to really validate her experience. So, we dug a hole in the backyard and had a little funeral. We said a prayer and she even made a headstone out of an old brick in the yard.

I suggested she say a few words, and to my surprise, she spoke so eloquently about her little pet. We have two dogs, but Light was the first pet that was just hers. It meant more to her than I had realized. All the neighborhood kids turned out for the funeral and all took it very seriously. As proof that she's my daughter, my 7-year-old hosted a funeral luncheon right afterwards!

Light is gone and my children have moved on, but I learned a lot from the funeral. I saw a glimpse of my daughter I hadn't noticed before. She displayed her emotions so beautifully and really opened up about how a little hermit crab gave her such a feeling of being needed and appreciated.

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