As I slept that night, I worry-dreamed about the fish, and at 6:18 a.m., I flew out of bed, thinking I had heard her hit the floor again. But instinctually I let Shiloh outside instead of checking on my fish. When we came back in, there was Angel on the kitchen rug again. This time I knew she was dead, but because I’ve been able to revive her in the past, I put her in her bowl, held her upright, and prayed.
This time, though, her energy was completely different than all the other times she’d flipped out. Then, a minute later, she slightly moved her gill. Within a half hour, she could keep herself upright, and throughout the day, she improved and the black in her tail turned white again. But it was obvious, her color and personality had declined.
My friend looked at the fish, shook his head, and said, “She’ll be—”
“No! Don’t say it!” I cried.
His mom used to raise fish for Colorado Springs pet stores and had numerous aquariums that she constructed, so he knew what a dying fish looked like.
All night the worst thoughts pervaded my mind. At midnight Angel was barely alive. I had more strange dreams. By three she was sideways on the bottom.
I have never handled death well. My connection to everything is so strong that I feel subtle energy emanating from not only humans and animals but from trees and mountains. Sometimes all this stimulus is too much to deal with. It makes me wonder why I adopt animals…and I won’t anymore.
The night my Nana died, I parted company with her prior to her departure. She had raised me, yet I couldn’t handle being with her at that moment. I’m not sure I should feel guilty, so I justify my retreat. At the precise moment her spirit left her body, though, I was amidst a crowd and gravitated to a quiet corner where I sat and felt her pass.
When my little yellow Lab and almost human, Alex, transitioned May 20, 2000, I knew the exact second he died and came upstairs to find him. That experience is still one of my worst. Not sure I could even write about it. No matter who dies, I know I’m partially to blame. And I should have gotten my little fish a different bowl.
I will bury Angel in my rose garden and never forget her. I will still hear her noises—the small ploop, ploop sounds of her eating or blowing bubbles, the foraging between stones to find fallen food. I’ll miss looking into her bowl and greeting my little fishy-poo—’cause that girl had personality.
copyright © 2009 by Auntie Eartha. All rights reserved.
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