Last night we lost a dear little friend and pet Jumper the tree frog stopped jumping. Ethan purchased his tree frog at the end of July and he misted his cage and fed him crickets daily. Ethan did what he needed to do every day to take care of little Jumper. Once in awhile we would get Jumper out of the cage and let him jump around the house and crawl up the walls. He was very jumpy. Tonight as Ethan was misting the cage he said “Mom Jumper is laying on his side”. He got him out and the little tree frog’s legs were curled up underneath his little body and his quick breathe had ceased.
Anna made a little turquoise box from construction paper along with a little note that said Jumper, Sept 8th and a little red heart on it. We, all 6 of us, made a journey in the dark of the night with the crickets serenading us to the creek side. Daddy used a pitch fork to dig through the already soft soil to dig a burial place for Jumper. We said a few words about Jumper a little prayer and placed him in his grave then covered it with dirt. Tomorrow morning we will make a little cross to mark his grave. Jake said “You need to buy another Jumper.” Ethan replied “You can’t replace a friend.”
It is the first death my children have ever experienced and I was the only one crying. Yes, me the mom who said “If you buy a pet make sure it is flush able.” When we discovered that Jumper had passed away Ethan said, “We are not going to flush him.” In tears I responded “Of course not, we will bury him.” I think it is good for Ethan and the children to see me cry so that they know it is an ok reaction to death. They do not have to just pretend to be strong. Children are so different from adults. We all deal with loss in different ways none of them cried but I think they will all miss little Jumper.
Part of the experience of having a pet is learning responsibility to feed and take care of it. Another part is the love that you give that pet. The saddest experience is the death of a pet, which most parents realize will at some point occur. The good thing about that part is that it is easier to take the death of a pet before the loss of a loved relative. It’s like taking baby steps into life. Jake asked, “Is Jumper in heaven?” I replied, “I believe that all of God’s creations go back to God, so yes in pet heaven.” For Jake’s 4 year old mind it answered some questions. It was a sad evening but such is the cycle of life we are born, we live, we love, we exist, we grow, one day we die. Then I believe it starts over again with a different life we have no concept of with God where as Ethan said tonight, “You don’t need anything in Heaven but you are completely happy there.” God bless you little Jumper you will be missed!