The Day I felt Pure Sadness
How It Happened
We named her Khaleesi after The Mother of Dragons : Danaerys Targaryen - a character in Game of Thrones. She was a few weeks old when we got her. She was a high-back red tailed golden arowana. She was a sparkling white and regal - like Danaerys' hair.
She's a well travelled aquarium fish. She came from Manila, stayed in Bulacan, got injured in Rizal and recently moved in Marikina. She was with my husband and I wherever we move.
She was supposed to be 10 months old today.
I woke up at 5 am and dragged myself to the bathroom. Immediately afterwards, I prepared breakfast. I was frying some eggs when at the corner of my right eye, I saw something dark on the floor beside the aquarium. I moved closer. I really have a bad eyesight. When I saw her eyes, I called my husband in panic.
"Ted! Si Khaleesi!!!"
He woke up immediately, seeing her on the floor immediately picked her up and put her back in the aquarium. We watched in horror as her lifeless body floated.
She's not glowing anymore. She's not regal anymore. She's dead.
My husband and I couldn't speak for half an hour. What happened to our baby?
Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?
My husband said Khaleesi's body was hard and dry. Indicating that she had been dead hours ago.
Her aquarium has a glass cover. A gap 3 inches wide and 7 inches long was intentionally left open to let air in. The glass cover was still intact - no breaks, no cracks. Khaleesi flew between the gap.
I cried hard because I know I can save her. During her last transfer, her aquarium broke and she slid on the floor. I was fast enough to scoop her to safety. I know in my heart if only I saw her jump, I can save her. But no. She jumped when no one was there to see and save her.
For the first time in my life, I recognized I am sad. Not sad+angry nor sad+regretful. Just sad.
There was no anger to feel. There was no one to blame. Khaleesi only did what she was born to be - to jump high.
There was no regret to feel. My husband took care of her very well. He researched, monitored every "yawn" every movement of the arowana. We had water test kits, water heaters, enzymes, everything, just to make sure she is comfortable in her home. One time when the ammonia content was high, my husband changed the water every so often. We gave all that we know can benefit her. We saw that she was more comfortable and happier.
She still jumped. And my husband and I have no choice but to accept what happened.
I know she's in fish heaven. We will bring her body to fish heaven here on Earth - The Ocean.
We have no plans on getting a new arowana. Khaleesi cannot be and will never be replaced.