Redojiimu, our hercules beetle, died last week. Sidra was playing with his friends when he noticed that Redojiimu hadn’t moved for sometime. Although he knew that Redojiimu wouldn’t live long once he turned into a beetle, Sidra was hoping that Redojiimu would stay with us at least until autumn, so he was sad. We were very sad too.
Redojiimu came to our house as a tiny little larvae when Sidra was still in first grade. He’s now in third grade. Two years might be a short time for us adults, but for kids at Sidra’s age, two years is quite a long time. Two years of caring the larvae and watched him turned into a giant beetle, and even to see him died at the end. On Redojiimu’s tombstone, Sidra wrote: 今まで ずーとずーと ありがとうございました – ima made zuuto zuuto arigatou gozaimashita (loosely translated: thank you for being with us for a long long time).
When Sidra was in kindergarten, we found a little bird who fell off its nest. We’ve tried to give him water and food but the little bird died the next day. Sidra cried his heart out at the time. I took Sidra to the river to say goodbye to the bird. We put the bird on a big leaf and watch him drifting away while saying thank you. We had similar burial ceremony when his fishes or other beetles died. I think it is good that he has the chance to say thank you to them.
Sidra didn’t cry anymore when Redojiimu died, He is big enough now to understand that everything will die at the end. We believe that Redojiimu’s atoms will disintegrate and become something else. And maybe one of those tiny atom will come back to our house someday.
Last weekend we went to the woods nearby to bury Redojiimu.
It’s time to say goodbye.