My betta died a long time ago... why do i still feel so bad?
i had a betta fish named tiger lily when i was 12. i had him for a year, and in that time, he had almost been dropped down the sink drain, overfed by 10 pelets, kept in a 1gal kritter keeper with no filter, moved from tank to cup by hand, having skipped meals every other day, and he still lived so long.
I was devastated when he died. He lived so long, i was just starting to learn about how to really care for a betta when he died, and it seemed to be invincible.
What happened was:
We moved to colorado, and for a while, i had to stay with my aunt and uncle. they bought his food, because i ran out of food, and they bought freeze dried blood worms. He would not eat them at all, so his tank was filthy. I kept on forgetting to change his water, its not that i didn't want to, it's that i had so many extra chores that i couldn't.
Then he died.
I cried for an hour.
And my uncle yelled at me.
" When your cousin's fish died, she only cried for five minutes! Then she was out playing!"
My cousin's fish, Paul, was a dalmation betta. She was at school when her aunt bought him. she never cleaned his tank, ever, she never fed him either, and she did not declorinate his water.
I was the one who found out paul was dead, and i cried longer than she did for HER fish.
When Tigerlily died, i buried him in the back yard.
I still feel bad about him dying.
I am afraid that my new fish, prince, will die.
I wish i had known how bad he was being treated.
I would never forgive anybody for treating a betta like that.
Do you think he would ever forgive me?
TigerLily was an amazing fish.
How could a fish like that, who survived so much,
Die like that?
Remember... Tigerlilly, Paul, and all our future fish friends could have died alone in a cold cup in a pet store, or suffered far more painful fates. These fish are tough and can survive through a lot, but of course we try our best to give them the best homes possible.
And sometimes deaths happen. I only had Dionysus for 1 year before he died, and he had a 5 gallon heated, cycled, filtered tank... I did everything by the book..he still died very young. They are fragile sometimes. Sometimes it's not our fault when something goes wrong.
I'm sure he was happy to be in his home, no matter what it was. He got food(even if sometimes he got too much), he had a place to swim other than a cup, and he had someone who loved him. You were learning at the time. We all make mistakes. We fail sometimes.. But we learn from what happened, and then we can give our next friends even better lives!
I'm sorry your uncle was angry with you. People respond to deaths differently.. I cried the most in the moment's before Dionysus's death. I could see his suffering, it was so terrible. But when he was gone I knew he was at peace. I felt sad, sort of hollow..but more at peace.
Tigerlily of course would forgive you. He doesn't feel pain anymore, his little fishy soul is at rest. He survived an important year by your side, and I'm sure you'll never forget the time you had together, even if it was a long time ago. We know our fish have short lives, so instead..cherish what you learned from him, and the joy you had from caring for him. He probably was a big influence in leading you to this site! And that alone has helped you now and will continue to help other fish get amazing homes!
You sound like a really loving owner, and that's what matters!
<3 <3 it's alright, really. I know he's gone and that makes me sad, but I'll always remember him, and now he's no longer having to suffer. I get to remember him as my beautiful, playful first betta. :) I'm happy I was able to have the time I did have with him. It still hurts, but it will heal one day. All wounds do. We learn and live on <3 I hope you feel better soon. It's not a fun feeling, I know..