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son’s goldfish RIP…

user-51823 | Posted in Gather For A Chat on

…and i need to know best way to keep it until burial. son is 5 yrs old and really sick with a nasty virus that dr says typically lasts 5-7 days. we’ve talked abouit the options and decided that burial at sea is best, going to a nearby river. problem: son is sick and getting to the river is a cold windy proposition.
goldie passed yesterday and is still in the bowl for now. 1) whats the best (and least traumatic for a child) way to store a dead golfish for about 4 days, and 2) what other burial options would you suggest? we discussed bury in backyard, but are pretty sure neighborhood strays will dig up.
this is new to me. thanks in advance

“…lost in an orchestral maelstrom of lunacy…”


  1. User avater
    Thimblefingers | | #1

    Put him in a zip lock bag and stick him in the deep freeze (the fish, that is) until your son is well enough to go to the river.  You might want to let him thaw before the trip.

    My daughter had a hedgehog that died in the winter (Northern Canada = cold, frozen) and she insisted that it be buriedunder the tree.  So we wrapped the hegdehog well, put her in shoe box and in the deep freeze until the ground was warm enough to dig a "grave".

    This might sound a little gross to some but it worked for us!


    1. user-51823 | | #2

      it's not gross, but truly, i do worry about bacteria and such. thanks for your reply!

  2. Cherrypops | | #3

    how sad, i want to give you and your little boy a great big hug. Children become attached to goldfish just as much as they do any other pet.

    I would put the goldfish in the freezer, wrap it very well. Remember to thaw it out a little so it is not cold and stiff when the time comes for you or your son to bury it.. It is not nice to feel or hold.

    If you have already discussed burial and decided on burial at sea I wouldn't go any other way. Fish live in water Fish should be laid to rest in the water. I agree with you on the backyard burial, not too good. and I personally don't like the idea of 'flushing fish down the toilet' to end up in the open sea.

    When your son is better go to the river and bid farewell to your friend.

    Is this your son's first loss? Did you ever take a photo of the goldfish when it was living? If not, help your son do a special drawing of the goldfish which you can frame or magnet to keep as a memory.

    In time you can buy another one.

    All the best

    Edited 2/4/2007 1:49 am by Cherrypops

    1. user-51823 | | #4

      thank you. we do have a cute photo of the fish staged with a stuffed frog "feeding" it. the frog is a class mascot each kid gets to bring home for a weekend and write a journal entry about all the things they do together.
      yes, first close loss. only 2 other deaths he has experienced so far were his step-grandfather who he had only seen maybe 4 times (lived far away and my husband was not close to him.) earlier this year, his junior K class bunny died and the teacher told me he took it harder than the other kids. typically, he was very quiet and fought tears but wanted to talk about it privately with teacher. the night we discovered goldie had passed, he was also choked up. he didn't want to write or draw himself, but dictated a commemorative note to me. i drew a fish at top and we wrote a letter together. but the whole time he was facing away from me so i could not see him cry. it broke my heart, because he seems to be taking after his dad (and his estranged stepdad), who do not deal well at all with emotion. thanks again for your thoughts, all of you!"...lost in an orchestral maelstrom of lunacy..."

      Edited 1/25/2007 3:02 am ET by msm-s

      1. Teaf5 | | #6

        My condolences.... We've had lots of "fish death" in our aquarium, too. With much respect, we do the burial via a freshly cleaned toilet, since "that's the most direct route to the ocean" from our house. Once we carefully laid in a fish we thought was dead, and it revived in time to be retrieved! Quite a shock to all of us and a reminder of the value of life and the need to be respectful of both life and death.

        1. JanF | | #10

          Glad to hear u do this too - lost count of how many goldfish died and went to Heaven via the toilet in our house - but didn't like to say in case it might have been thought of as "not quite the done thing!"
          I suppose it might depend on age of the owner - and their sensitivities - I can well remember 1 daughter having crying fits over books biting the dust!
          Mind u this was the same daughter who cleaned her fish tank in the bath - with hot water (after putting Goldie in a small container next to the tank - but still in the bath)only to have her fish jump back into the hot water of its tank!!
          Death wish or what!
          That had to be put down the loo!
          She still is a little sensitive about this escapade - at 27!!

          Edited 1/30/2007 6:33 am ET by JanF

    2. User avater
      blondie2sew | | #7

      What a wonderful suggestion of the photo and such...I liked that!Another Idea too is maybe do a small scrapbook page or even a couple of pages with his letter he wrote and the pictures and drawings to help in his healing process!! or transfer that photo onto a piece of material and make a fun pillow for his bed so he can still be close to his lost friend!! I send hugs too!! Connie

      1. georgiagg | | #8

        In Fairbanks, Alaska if you pass in the winter time when the ground is frozen you are kept frozen? until spring/summer when the ground is thawed to dig.  Cannot dig frozen ground for burial.

        1. feismom | | #9

          We have a little graveyard in the backyard - one cat, one guinea pig, one rat.  And we have a dwarf hamster in the freezer to join them when the ground thaws.  No problem with other animals digging them up.

  3. User avater
    Becky-book | | #5

    A small piece of wisdom I gleaned from Mrs. Rosemary's Kindergarten, a short story about life at age 5... Mrs. Rosemary said "No one (or no thing) ever dies for no reason. They were either too sick to get better, or too hurt to get better, or too old to get better."  This helped the little boy deal with the death of his kitten, and the whole class of children to deal with the death of Mr. Rosemary, who was their driver for field trips and inventor of "musical" instruments for their band.


  4. Lizsews | | #11

    I've buried small goldfish in flower pots in the house.  I never had a smell.  I thought of the Native Americans & Pilgrims when I dug a small hole & dropped the fish in.  Perhaps this wouldn't be the best way to bury your fish if your flower pots are on the floor & you have cats in the house.  But if you have a hanging plant it should work out fine. 

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