It’s almost Easter time, which means lots of activity in Chickenlandia. The chickens are laying eggs and going broody. The sun is (mostly) out. As the another season begins, I’m reminded of the many older birds I have in my flock. One of them, Pringles the Duck, isn’t feeling well and is currently resting in my bathroom. Confronting the idea that she may die soon has been tough, and it’s made me think about what Easter means in Chickenlandia.
Whenever an animal is sick, I can see the worried look in my children’s eyes. It’s sometimes hard for me to find the language to explain death to them. The urge to sugarcoat it is ingrained and easy in our modern, western culture, where we don’t really have a solid way to deal with death. I think this is why I love Easter so much. It fills in the gaps and gives me peace when I think about the inevitable.
A week before Easter, about two years ago, our sweet dog Juni fell very ill, very suddenly. He was a dog that loved food more than anything, so when he refused to eat I knew something was terribly wrong. After a trip to the emergency vet, we discovered that Juni had a cancerous tumor and it was bleeding. He was not going to recover and was declining quickly.
Later that same evening, my husband and I made the tough decision to put Juni down. Not only was I devastated, but the thought of telling my kids when they woke up in the morning haunted me all night. They were only three and seven years old. How would I explain this to them? I finally decided to trust that I would somehow know what to say. When we woke up, this was our conversation:
Me: “Last night, Juni’s body got really, really sick.”
Henry (7): “Did he die?”
Me: “Yes, his body died.”
Billy (3): “Don’t worry, Henry, Juni survived.”
And then we all cried, thinking about how Juni’s body stopped working, but knowing that his little spirit had moved on to something else.
So that’s what Easter means in Chickenlandia. The body is finite, but the soul lives on. To put it simply, there is no death.
I really hope my sweet duck Pringles is able to spend a few more Easters in Chickenlandia, but I know she might be on to the next adventure soon. To see my latest video featuring Pringles, click the play button below!
What do you think about Easter or any other holiday you celebrate? Let me know in the comments!