Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Dinner and a show

Our friend, Sabra, was here for lunch today. I think she was complimenting us when she stated that eating at our house makes for a great "dinner and a show." Since she's an actress, I'm pretty certain it was a compliment. At the very least, she finds us entertaining. And I think today she was referring to the fact that she walked into our home just before the commencement of a very serious ceremony, the burial of Eden's beloved hermit crab, Bella.

The funeral almost occurred yesterday. I had noticed over the weekend that the hermit crab was dead but I wasn't sure how to tell her seven year old owner. So I didn't. Then, yesterday morning Eden said to me, "Isn't it amazing that Bella has lived such a long time?" "Uh, Honey. We need to talk." After our talk, Eden checked into things herself. A few moments later the five year old announced that she saw Bella move. Great news! The dead has come back to life! So we had to wait for a period of time to determine if my diagnosis, or HopeAnne's diagnosis was the correct one. I won.

Eden's experience with funerals is limited. She did accompany me to a funeral about a year ago, so I guess her memory of that is where she developed the agenda for the occasion. So I was very interested to see what was about to transpire.

First, she insisted that we all had to wear black. I was surprised to see that she knew of this tradition but I shouldn't have been. The funeral she attended with me was for a conservative Mennonite man. Of course everyone wore black! They always wear black. But she didn't know that. Needless to say, she couldn't convince us to wear black. She did convince Shoun to wear his suit. He loves to wear a suit so it didn't take much persuasion. And since he was the pastor for the day, his attire contributed to his authenticity. HopeAnne brought her flower girl basket to drop roses but was quickly told by her older sister that it is not necessary to have a flower girl at a funeral - wrong ceremony.

Then, she told us that we had to walk by the casket, drop something into the casket, and greet her as we went by.

Following the receiving line, the pastor spoke, and the anguished mother reflected on a life well lived.

Next she closed the casket. This took a little more work than she had expected.

No problem; just put your knee on it and lean into it a bit.

At the conclusion of the casket closing, we had to follow her outside for the burial.

She had already chosen a beautiful plot under a maple tree, with daffodils to surround it every spring. The pastor started digging.

The pastor and the bereaved had a little spat over how deep the hole needed to be. Meanwhile, the worship leader led us in a fine rendition of Kum Ba Ya.

In the shuffle, the hermit crab fell out of the casket. She just picked it up and shoved it back in. Crisis averted.

When the grieving mother finally determined the hole "good enough", she placed the casket in the ground, took over the shoveling duties,

stomped on it a few times,

and placed her gravestone marker over the place where Bella now lies.

May she rest in peace.

Sabra, thank you for your amazing contribution to our funeral today. We hope you'll come back again for the next in our subscription series, "Dinner and a Show at the Kings."


  1. Stomping on the box - priceless! A very funny slice (sorry Mr. Hermit Crab).

  2. Just read the funeral piece. Not sure i was supposed to laugh at such a solemn occasion, but this piece is hilarious! So many different funny details- the pastor in his suit digging, the crab falling out of the box, kumbayah…A terrific photo essay!