R.I.P Ricky


First thing in the van after school today “There was a TRAGEDY at school today Mom!”

Immediately, a million scenarios raced through my mind.  I quickly grabbed hold of my thoughts and asked for my 4th grader to give me a few more details before I freaked out.

What tragedy? What do you mean sweetheart?

“Well, it wasn’t a very good day for Ricky today, Mom.” 

( OK, so perhaps there was just a little too much emphasis on the word TRAGEDY)

Oh? Do you want to tell me what happened?

“Well….you see…He died today.”

(Nope, death =TRAGEDY.)

Things running through my mind:

  1. No one else in the pick up line seemed distraught today.
  2. I don’t remember getting an email about this.
  3. Who is Ricky?!?!? ( I should really pay better attention. I am the room-mom this year. Geez….)

Before I could say anything else…..

“My heart is really sad about it because Ricky was my favorite hermit crab- Lucy is still alive- but there is nothing we can do about Ricky now.  A friend and I stayed after to make sure he was really dead. She has a hermit crab at home so she knows about these things. She tried to do all his favorite tricks to make him come out of his shell but he was a goner. So we wrapped him in a tissue & made him a little tombstone. It said R.I.P Ricky. We love you”

Ah, I see….Ricky, the class Hermit Crab. ( a moment of silence).

Kaitlyn once saved up all her school reward tickets in exchange to get to be the “caretaker” of Ricky and Lucy for an entire school day. They had spent quality time together and bonded. Thus the “TRAGEDY”. I am so thankful for our teachers that are willing to face life and death with our kids. I am also thankful that this is the first small pet death we have had to encounter.

R.I.P. Ricky. My he live forever in our hearts.



  1. Oh, man. Glad THAT was the tragedy! Loved how you set that up in the post. :) Don’t tell your kids, but I had hermit crabs and I thought mine had died, but when I buried him, HE CAME BACK. And you’d think, after watching Pet Semetary, I would never have let him back in the house, but I did. And I always watched him carefully. Just in case he tried to claw me to death in the night. True story. I hope Ricky really WAS dead and not just shedding and hiding in the shell, like mine.
    kirsten oliphant recently posted…Cheesy Pretzel DogsMy Profile

    • Geez….Kirsten! That didn’t even occur to me! I think its too late to check now. The class has already gotten a “Ricky jr” for Lucy’s sidekick. If he didn’t really die- it would make a great storyline wouldn’t it?! Ha!

  2. I remember the hollow feeling of tragedy when our class pet hamster Penny disappeared one day…this is a sweet story, albeit a sad one!
    Laura Melchor recently posted…The Writing Babies Didn’t DieMy Profile

  3. Oh, the tragedies of fourth grade! So glad that it was not worse than this. Thank you for a post that put a smile on my face (my apologies to Ricky).

  4. Oh, sob….. Love how your child shared this. My mind would have worked just like yours. Who is Ricky, why does that name not sound familiar, I am the worse room mum ever…..

    We have several buried lost pets in the backyard, they are somber days…..
    Stopping by from SITSgirls…
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  5. Whew! I’m glad it was only a hermit crab! Nice set up and I love the way your mind works (it works a lot like mine).
    Anita Ojeda recently posted…Standing in the Need of Prayer (but NOT Your Sickly Sympathy)My Profile

  6. We had a hermit crab named ‘Bubbles” and it too was a very sad day when we said goodbye to Bubbles. I love this handwritten note, so cute. Visiting via SITSGirls Saturday linkup
    Barb recently posted…Upcycled EnvelopesMy Profile

    • Her teacher sent me the picture of the note. It was just so precious. Lucky for us we haven’t had any pets pass at home yet. Bubbles is such a cute pet name!

  7. Loved the setup and thought process you went through in this ordeal. Dealing with your first death experience is a tough one! Your little one has a big heart, though. :)
    Peach recently posted…Broke-Ass Bride – Real Bride Post: Bridal FailureMy Profile


  1. […] is, agonizing with her and her hollow knees as she finds the letter. Alice Chase from Thrill of the Chases employs a similar style, tossing the readers right into the middle of a tragedy in […]

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