Thursday, June 02, 2016

Feeling blue

We were walking back after Xena's swim lesson yesterday when she asked me if I could roast some corn on the cob for her.


"How many do you have?"

"Hmm... I only have two so we will have to share. You and Patsy (her nickname for her 'paati' or grandma) can share one and Daddy and I will share the other."

"No, mama! The girls will share one and the boys will share the other."


"You, Patsy and I will share one, and Daddy and Blue will share the other."

I smiled at her feebly, not knowing how to tell her that Blueberry had actually died that afternoon and I hadn't had the heart to tell her. I was waiting for Viv to get home so we could tell her together.

We had seen it coming for a few days. He looked old and tired and would no longer leap and jump like a bhukkad when he saw me approaching with food. And though I'd been mentally prepared for it, I had a hollow sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when I saw it lying on its side at the base of the tank, its food floating on the surface, untouched. I can't even imagine how people who lose dogs and cats deal with it.

Even though I had mentally prepared Xena for the inevitable, I wasn't sure how she would take it. After all, she was extremely fond of it, and often referred to him as almost her sibling. We had considered various options -- replacing him with a look-alike, not showing her the dead body, lying to her that he had to go back to the fish farm, etc. but all these options seemed disrespectful and unfair. We figured it was best to go with the truth. So after Viv returned, we showed her the body and told her that Blue was dead.

She was sad for a few minutes and almost on the verge of tears, but became okay afterwards. I was feeling really thankful to that fish-expert friend of mine who had visited earlier in the year, examined his fins and told me that he was actually really really old and was expected to die soon. I'd spoken to Xena right away, telling her how all living things, including Blue and all of us, will die some day. She seemed a little confused at first, but took it pretty well.

Blueberry is gone from our lives, but I do hope he lived a good full life. A year and two months ago, he had barged into our reluctant hearts and home, but soon became a part of the family, bringing us unimaginable joy. And though he lived longer than anyone expected him to, I still can't shake off that hollow feeling or get used to the fact that he's no longer around.

Thank you, Mr. Blueberry Bubbles, for everything you were.

At first, I didn't want to write this depressing post, but just as I informed all the people who would care, I felt like it was my duty to inform you guys too. After all, I'd written several posts about him and shared so much about his life. It didn't feel right to withhold this news.

RIP, my bhukkad Blue. See you on the other side.
If there is an 'other side'. 


mad hatter said...

Hey, am so sorry... but it's awesome how you as parents and stoic little Xena dealt with it. RIP Mr. Blueberry Bubbles, we'll miss hearing about you.

Lakshmi Thampi said...

So sorry to hear this sad bit of news. Xena is a brave little girl. I can imagine how you must be feeling. We've had similar experiences with pets including a hamster. But we always feel good when we recollect endearing stories about them. R.I.P. Mr.Blue.

Dew said...

Sorry to hear about Blueberry. RIP Blueberry bubbles.

Prathima said...

Sorry to hear this about Blue, Sayesha. I hope he was happy to have lived a full life with a loving family.

preetiprasad said...

Sorry for your loss.. I lost my dad two years back and still can't let my son know about it.. He still thinks his taata( kannada word for Nanaji) is in college, will be back soon.. Every time he sees me crying,, he consoles me.. Amma, don't worry, as soon as taata finishes his work he will be back.. And foolish as it may sound, but I actually look forward to it even though I know the truth. Kids heal better than us, the adults.. We come with baggage of past experience, kids come with hope, optimism and curiosity..