Taj: Mama: Why is everyone sad today?
April: Everyone is sad because Maxx the camel has died.
Taj: Died? What is died?
April: Died is when your life ends. You reach an age that you have lived as long as possible, or you are sick and your body can no longer keep you healthy and alive. Your body stops functioning and you stop breathing.
Taj: (quietly) Oh. What happens then?
Oliver: Well, son, it is kind of like you go to sleep. But it is not sleep. Because you don’t wake up.
Taj: Do you know that you go to sleep?
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April: No honey.
Taj: Do you know that you are dead?
Oliver: No. Only those that are still alive know that the person or animal is dead.
Taj: What happens to that person or animal once they have died?
April: Well, the people that loved that person, will grieve or feel sad that the person is gone. They will be really sad.
Taj: Is that why Uncle Corey and Mr. Jordan are so sad?
Oliver: Yes it is son. Mr. Jordan knew Maxx before he even opened this place. He used to go visit Maxx where Maxx used to live when Mr Jordan was a young man. He fell in love with Maxx, and that is where he met Mrs Colleen.
Taj: So Mrs Colleen and Mr Jordan knew Maxx before Maxx came to live here?
April: Yes, they have know Maxx for a really long time.
Taj: (thinking) They must be really, really sad.
Oliver: They are son. This is very hard on them. Maxx was their first baby at Animal Adventure Park. He started the park.
Taj: What happens to Maxx now that he is dead??? Will he stay in his pen?
April: No honey, they will bury him. They will dig a hole in the ground and put Maxx in the hole. They most likely will place a marker at that spot in memory of Maxx. So that everyone who sees it will stop and remember Maxx.
Taj: Do they do that for people too mama?
April: Yes honey.
Taj: What can I do to make Mr. Jordan and Uncle Corey feel better?
Oliver: Well son, you can be extra nice to them. You can give them a kiss when you see them.
April: You can behave nicely around them. Remember they will be sad for a long time. Death is not something that someone gets over quickly. Also Auntie Allysa will be sad as well.
Taj: I am sad too mama. I am used to seeing Maxx when I go outside. He was fun to look at. I was getting almost as big as him and I was hoping that one day I would get as big as him. I sure am going to miss him!
Oliver: We all are going to miss him son.
April: That is the truth. We can say a prayer for Maxx and all of the Animal Adventure Park family. We all miss Maxx and need to comfort each other during this time. A lot of people miss Maxx and are so sad that he is gone.
Taj: Maxx, we will miss you. Thank you for being the best camel ever! You were the one who made Animal Adventure Park a reality and started the dream that came true! Thank you for making a dream become a reality.
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