We lost a chicken today. The one the kids named Hot-Dog. We aren't sure what got it, but there wasn't much left when we found her. Our new ( awesome) neighbor Isaac, saw her and discreetly knocked and gave us the news. Michael came over with me and I sent him back to make sure the girls didn't see the carnage. I quickly disposed of the rest and came in to talk to the girls.
They were hysterical crying.
Tom and Mike were being brave but fighting off tears and sadness themselves. I cuddled them all together in the family room and told them it was sad, yes, but that part of having chickens is knowing something could get at them.We've been awful lucky so far losing only a few in three years time. My words didn't console them at all and my hugs seemed to help only a little. Suddenly Michael asked if it was okay for us to pray the rosary. The girls all enthusiastically agreed we should pray the rosary for Hot-Dog too, and how could I argue with that logic?
So, we sat and prayed a decade for Hot-Dog.
Afterwards, I set them all to work so they wouldn't keep up being sad all day. I keep thinking of how good it was that they had that place to bring their grief when my words couldn't help and the hurt was so fresh. It is good to have a place to turn when the reality of life is harsh. For me too. A place found inside themselves that oddly takes them outside themselves, to trust and gain strength and consolation- it is as close to them as their own breath. God is even closer than that, and while children are first taught faith, they also seem to know it so much better and deeper than we all do most days. They live closer to God in their littleness, I see it every day.
Thanks for all the eggs Hot-Dog, and for helping teach my kids ( and me) about God and heaven. Who would've thought you would be so very useful?