We said our goodbyes to Ella the Fella. Since Ella’s birthday is in December, children decided to sing “Happy Birthday.”
Next, they wanted to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”
Flowers were placed alongside Ella’s marker.
Miles told us, “There’s an invisible string that goes down into the hole and goes all the way to heaven.”
We made sure Gloria joined us to say goodbye.
I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.” -Robert Fulghum-
I have been teaching preschool for over thirty-five years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about.
I was a live guest on the Kelly Clarkson Show. I am highlighted in the seventh edition of Jim Trelease's million-copy bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital, and the Massachusetts State House in Boston.
This entry was posted in behavior
, Death and dying
, Early Education
, Expressing words and feelings
, Teaching young children
and tagged Burying a classroom pet
, Death and dying
, Expressing words and feelings
, Robert Fulghum quotation
, Saying goodbye
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Touching indeed, Jennie. And always a joy to see Gloria included.
Best wishes, Pete.
Thank you, Pete.
how incredibly sweet.
Thank you, Beth!
Miles is a wise boy ❤
Yes, he is! 🙂
Death is so hard to deal with!
Jennie, these children are lucky to have you, particularly to have your kind help in dealing with and learning about something difficult. Heartfelt thanks for sharing this tenderness here. Hugs on the wing.
Thanks so much, Teagan. I appreciate your kind words! 😍
As hard as it is, having the opportunity to say goodbye is so important.
Yes, it definitely is.
You have done a wonderful job of helping the children though a tough situation.
Thank you so much, Marlene. Children are far more resilient than adults. They grieve in a genuine way with a host of questions, affections, and tears, and then they move on. We adults can learn much from children.
Yes we can. Children are genuine and we need to find that again.
Thank you for sharing this with us.
You are welcome, Becky.
Somehow, I think having Gloria there made it easier for the kids.
I think you are absolutely right! 🙂
Thank you, Flower.
So moving and meaningful.
You’re welcome, Jennie.
RIP Ella the Fella (that name has got to have a story behind it…surprising adults and kiddos alike I suspect!)
Thank you, Laura. When this baby guinea pig came into our class, children named him right away. There were many names in the tally vote, and Ella won, even though he was a boy. So, he became known as Ella the Fella. 😀
I knew it, I just knew it!
A meaningful ceremony. The quote is perfect.
Thank you, Darlene. 🙂
I love the choice of music. Both very soothing songs for little kids.
Thank you, Elizabeth. They were soothing, and just what children wanted/needed.
Oh how beautiful, Jennie!
Thank you, L Marie!
I’m glad Gloria could make it. Thank you for sharing, Jennie.
I’m glad she made it, too. It was a close call, as teachers nearly forgot but children remembered. Whew!
It’s so good to involve the children in this transition and to let them have a role in the process. Also glad to see Gloria.
Yes it is, Dan. Children need to have a concrete part in this. Otherwise, death is a scary thing. Gloria was quiet during everything. We talked to her later and helped her to understand. Really. How powerful that was for children!
Jennie, I felt myself age eight again … when my beloved guinea pig was buried in a special corner of the garden, my mother and I had a little farewell. A tender post which is written with all heart. Miles’s comment had me in tears: ‘“There’s an invisible string that goes down into the hole and goes all the way to heaven.”
Thank you for sharing your story, Annika. I’m glad my words could bring you to feel like your eight year old self again. When Miles made that ‘announcement’, you could have heard a pin drop. It was just perfect. ❤️
Moving post Jennie. The quote by Fulghum says it all ❤
Thanks so much, Debby. ❤️
Ah, this is lovely, Jennie.
I was thinking over the weekend that I have never organised a funeral and don’t really know where I would start. A strange though maybe, but we have a lot of very elderly members of our family now.
Usually the church and/or funeral home does most everything and guides you through. You just need to think about what you might want to say, if anything. That can be hard for some people. What ‘sticks’ with most people at a funeral is when they hear a story about that person.
Thank you, Robbie.
Thank you, Jennie, I thought it would be like that.
I knew you would. 🙂
I was waiting for this post, Jennie. I knew you would provide comfort to your students and help them get through a sad event in their lives. (I would have commented sooner, but California is in the midst of repeated power shutdowns) because of wildfires.
I liked hearing how Ella the Fella got his name. That’s a terrific story. Maybe the next guinea pig will be named Hal the Gal.
Thank you, Pete. The children seemed to feel closure and have ‘moved on’ so to speak. As you know, children are far more resilient than we adults are. Now, when we walk outside to go to the playground, they often wave over to the Memory Garden and say, “Hi, Ella!”
Hal the Gal. I love it! 😀
The wildfires are very scary! Are you close?
We’re not close, but everyone in my area has family or friends who are. My go-to move has been to find a good book and curl up around the fire all day while I keep it stoked.
A perfect go-to move, Pete. Thank goodness you’re not close. Of course everyone knows someone who is, and that puts the human face to this scary fire.
I’m sure this made Ella’s passing ever so much easier to deal with.
It did, Deborah. Now, when we walk with the children to the playground and pass by the Memory Garden, children wave and say, “Hi, Ella!” Just as it should be. 🙂
What a wonderful, hearttouching celebration.I am sorry for your loss, but saying “Good bye” is evident part of our lives, here on earth. Getting in touch with this ishard for the youngsters too. Michael
You are so right, Michael. Thank you!