Boy’s Heartbreaking Goldfish Funeral: A Child’s Raw Emotion Or A Mother’s Exploitation?

Goldfish Funeral

Death is a tragic reality for all emotionally-driven sentient beings, but it’s even more so when the one being faced with the reality of death isn’t even old enough to grasp the concept of mortality yet. There are few lessons harder to take than losing one’s beloved pet when you’re still too young to completely understand what has happened to him or her. Anyone who’s ever had a pet as a child, or has a child with a pet, knows that it doesn’t matter whether your cherished best friend was a dog, cat, rabbit, or goldfish. In a world where everything is so big, and you’re so small, and not much makes sense yet, you form strong and lasting bonds quickly with even the most unlikely of things.

The death of a child’s pet is the subject of a tear-jerking video that’s recently gone viral. In the video, a young Alberta boy is seen giving his pet goldfish, Top, a funeral as he prepares to flush his slippery friend down the toilet.

The video is particularly heartbreaking if you’ve ever experienced or witnessed a child dealing with the loss of a pet. His cries towards the end, and the way he runs into his mother’s arms to be comforted pull at the heartstrings in particular. But, is this video the result of a right-place-right-time situation, or is it the product of a mother trying to exploit her son’s pain for internet infamy?

At 0:03 in the video, you can hear the mother whisper to her son “kiss him,” before he kisses the lifeless goldfish in his hands. She then asks her son what he’s going to do with the goldfish.

“What are you going to do with him? Where does he go?” she asks.

The boy replies, quite emphatically, that he’s going to “flush him!”

The young boy then walks to the toilet, drops his little goldfish in, and flushes him. At this point, he seems to be taking the death of his pet goldfish quite well. At 0:23, the mother utters “awwww,” prompting the young boy to look at his mom with a sad face. Once Top the goldfish can no longer be seen in the toilet, the flood gates open for the poor little guy, and he runs into his mother’s arms for a hug.

Now, it’s not unusual for the full weight of the tragedy to hit a child until the subject — in this case, his pet goldfish — is no longer in sight. Only when the goldfish is truly gone does he realize he won’t ever see his beloved pet again. At the same time, however, it’s also not unusual for children to mimic their parents, as could have been the case here. The little boy was not giving mom the raw emotion she was hoping to capture on video, so she prodded him with a sad-faced “awwww” in order to elicit that emotion.

That may not be the case though, and perhaps some commenters on the video’s YouTube page are just reading too much into the mother’s seemingly provoking words. Consider, however, that sometime yesterday, the mother updated the description of the goldfish funeral video on YouTube to add “to use in a commercial or in broadcasting, please email licensing@storyful.com.”

What is your take on the goldfish funeral video?

[Image Credit: The Telegraph]