Early Wednesday I noticed that the very active Jewels, wasn’t moving. She wasn’t moving when I dunked her in water. I gave it a little while, then broke the news to the girls. Jewels has gone on to a better place. It really stinks because Shelby (Arleigh’s crab) is always in hiding. Jewels (Hanan’s crab) would actually come out and play. You may remember Jewels from this post.

I’ve often talked about Arleigh’s extra sensitive chip. Hanan has her own chip. It’s the “I choose to react unreasonably at any given moment” chip. I fully expected some tears when I told her. She took it remarkably well. We were talking about death and life in her Wednesday night Bible class. She brought up Jewels. Again, there were no tears. We got home from church, they had begged me to tell Ray about Jewels all the way home. As they were climbing in bed, I may have made a callous remark about the deceased. Hanan lost it. For an hour, she cried. An hour…

I felt so bad, I spent yesterday constructing a makeshift coffin for Jewels. I painted a box purple, added her name with one of the girls’ puffy paint pens, lined it with our softest toilet paper and then let Hanan gently place Jewel in her new resting spot. I thought it was pretty spiffy digs for a hermit crab. (I felt guilty for said callous remark. Can you tell?)

After dinner last night, we found a nice spot in the backyard and Ray dug a hole. Hanan put Jewels in and was reduced to tears again.

Here are some of Hanan’s questions and thoughts over the last two days…

Why did it have to be Jewels, she didn’t even get a chance to grow up? Why do things we love have to die? Why was it her hermit crab? Can I have another hermit crab? I don’t think it will replace Jewels. Will another hermit crab be as great as Jewels? Can we go get a new one right now? I don’t want another hermit crab, but I do. Why do bad things happen to me? Why can’t I know what was wrong with her? How did she get sick? Is she in heaven? Will I ever see her again?

It was a hard couple of days for me too. I realize it was just a hermit crab, but it was really tough to watch Hanan grieve. To realize she was having feelings that I had a hard time dealing with as an adult. I have a hard time wrapping my mind around letting God comfort me. As a child, I hope it’s easier for her to understand. There is a song that seems to be played on K-LOV every time I turn it on. I think it’s called Blessed Be The Name. In the chorus it says, “He gives and takes away, He gives and takes away…” It’s comforting and disturbing to me. Something else to think about and pray about.

Rest In Peace Jewels. You’ve been a learning experience for us. I hope you get to be in a hermit crab heaven with lots of coconuts.