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Birdly

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Posts: 55
 #1 

It rained on the day you died. We had to go out in the morning and then again in the early afternoon. As soon as we got home the rain started. It kept up off and on all day and the sun never did come back out. Somehow that made me feel better,  as if nature was grieving with me. Not that I'm alone. Bird dad misses you, too, and kitty knows something is up. He waited outside your door that day until I convinced him you weren't going to come out. Now he sits with me in the afternoons, like you did, as if he knows I need the company.

Bird dad always said you were three ounces of attitude. Once you bit a cat on the nose. It was obvious you thought you were 10 feet tall and bullet proof. The day I got you you were in a flight cage with a bunch of other babies. They all huddled back when I approached, but not you. You climbed to the top of the cage, stuck your head through the bars and checked me out. When the breeder opened the cage door you marched out to the end of the platform, looked up at me and chirped. I loved you from that moment and for the next 30 years.

A few days after I brought you home you were sitting in the doorway of your "house," which I'd placed on the kitchen table. A friend came by with a bowl of green beans fresh from his garden. He set the bowl on the table and next thing I knew you'd reached down and helped yourself to one. Everything was yours.

You were a tough little guy. Your natural inclination was to be on the ground and you got on the floor as often as you could. One day a visitor forgot to look for you and accidentally stepped on your toe, breaking it. You compensated until it healed and were never bothered by your crooked toe. You also weathered a respiratory infection, a bump that turned your whole head into a purple bruise, another foot injury and a cataract. You took everything in stride, never moped or complained and you got through it.

You had charm to spare. You convinced people to let you out of your house or feed you treats, our friends were eager to babysit you when we went away, even bird dad, a confirmed cat person, came to love you. Three people who met you turned around and got cockatiels of their own. You represented.

People who met you later in life were surprised at how old you were. You were active and alert and, of course, incredibly handsome. Once you reached your late twenties you started to slow down, but only a little. When you developed the cataract I knew things were changing and I tried to make the most of the time we had left. I cherished you.

I can't tell you how much I miss you. I miss saying "Good morning" to you every morning and "Good night" every evening. I miss the time in between when you sat on my finger and got a head rub or preened or gave me kisses. I miss hearing your voice; your chirps and whistles and, sometimes, words. I miss talking to you. You helped me cope with other losses in my life; you were my connection to people and places I'll never see again. You were so much more than the cute little ball of feathers you seemed.

I have a magnet on the refrigerator with your picture. It helps and I know things will get better. Even though you're no longer with me, you can still make me smile and that will never change. I'm grateful for the time we had together.

I hope that somewhere you're flying as fast and as far as you can, without ever getting lost, that there are always millet sprays to eat, dishes of water for baths and gentle loving fingers tor rub your head.

I love you, my bitty baby birdie.

[image]

 

Birdly

Registered:
Posts: 55
 #2 
It's been a long, sad two weeks without you, little man. I worked in the garden this morning and just like two weeks ago, as soon as I got in the house it started to rain. The skies and I had a good cry.

The vet's office called a couple of days ago to see how I'm doing. I told them I'm OK and that was the truth. This a process and we all get through it in our own way. It's hard, but when I consider the alternative of not having had you at all, the going up was certainly worth the coming down. You were an incredible bird and I'm lucky you were mine.

I love you, bud.

[image]
Birdly

Registered:
Posts: 55
 #3 
Friday marked the third week without you. It was a difficult week, full of things I was doing for the first time since you died. It was many days of coming home and thinking I needed to go get you, then remembering that I couldn't, that you wouldn't be waiting for me, ready to climb up on your perch and "come keep mom company." I can't tell you how much I miss your company. I miss the way you cocked your head and looked at me when I spoke, as if you were listening. I miss your chirps, the wide variety of them, some of which I even understood. I miss you sitting on my finger, eager for a head rub. I miss your kisses.

I don't want you to think it's all bad, because it isn't. Most of the time I feel OK and I can remember you without crying. It's just that sometimes a grief bomb goes off and I have to be sad. It's part of life, I guess, but it's still awful.

There's a space in the garden right in front of my window. There is a lilac on one side and wisteria on the other. Bird dad and I went out on Friday and put three lights in the space. They are to remember all those we loved who are no longer with us. I think your light is the one on the left. It burns the brightest, just like you.

[image]

I love you, little guy,
Birdly

Registered:
Posts: 55
 #4 
It looks like it's going to rain and I feel like I want to cry, so this seems like a good time to write. Tomorrow will mark the fourth week of not having you around. I still think I need to get up and get going in the morning because I need to uncover you. I still start for your door when it's the time I'd normally spend with you. It still feels odd to put newspapers in the recycling, rather than saving them to line the bottom of your house. I still think I have to open junk mail to retrieve envelopes for you to play with. I vacuumed the area near where your house sat again. There were no seeds on the floor. I never thought not having a little mess to clean up would make me sad. Things just aren't right, right now. I know they will be eventually, but the time before getting there is miserable.

I know you had to go and I don't begrudge you that. Your little body finally just wore out. I'm glad it didn't rust out, that you were active and happy until the end. I would have liked more time, but not at the expense of your health and happiness. I'm grateful you were able to stay as long as you did. Lots of human relationships don't last 30 years. I was lucky in many, many ways.

Bird dad picked up your ashes on Tuesday. Yesterday he put them in the tiny urn we got. Before he went to bed last night he said it was good to have you home. I know you indomitable spirit and your sweet soul aren't in that urn. Somehow, though, it's comforting to have it.

It's raining now.

I love you, my pretty boy.

[image]



Birdly

Registered:
Posts: 55
 #5 
I went to the doctor yesterday and got some disappointing news. After two years of promising to make a situation much better, he's now telling me this is as good as it's going to get. That's what I thought when we started down this road, but I bought into his optimism and got my hopes up. Now I'm crushed.

Before when I felt this way I could hold you and talk to you and it would help. This is the next best thing. I'll cope and I'll be ok. I just needed a little help from you to manage. As always, you came through. Thank you, bud.

[image]
Birdly

Registered:
Posts: 55
 #6 
For the first Friday morning in five weeks the sun is shining. It's not blazing bright, it goes in and out. Once again the weather mirrors my mood.

I had a great day Monday. I went out for lunch with a friend and had good drinks, good food and good conversation. What with the stress of losing you, medical problems and work I needed this and it felt good. I did try to talk a little bit about you, but I may have been too subtle and the conversation didn't go anywhere. I didn't force it, because I had no need. After dinner bird dad and I had some quality time, which was lovely.

Maybe all that was why I was missing you and felt quite lonely on Tuesday. Wednesday was better, maybe because bird dad had the day off. Thursday was fine, up until he opened a letter and was about to ask me if I wanted the inside envelope for you. All this time and we still consider you in our actions.

I guess this is just to say that I think about you, miss you, and, of course, I love you, my baby.
Birdly

Registered:
Posts: 55
 #7 
When you died I counted all the things in my life that were still good and kept me going. One of these was my wonderful job, that I loved and that kept me focused even in my grief and loneliness. I used to tell you I had to work to make money, put seeds on the table. To keep some continuity in my life and deal with change at the same time, when I work I've been telling kitty it's to make money, put treats on the table. "At least I still have my job," I said to comfort myself. Not any more. Earlier this week my company folded and the job is gone. I wasn't expecting this at all and I'm stunned. Once upon a time I would have held you and talked to you and felt better. After all, it's not the end of the world; I have the luxury of taking some time to think about what I want to do next. It's even possible this is a push I needed. Somehow that kind of stuff sounded so much better when I was talking to you. So here I am again, leaning on your tiny, little self. Small you may have been, but you were my rock during tough times.

It's been six weeks. I love and miss you, chirpy chirpy chirpy.
Birdly

Registered:
Posts: 55
 #8 
Yesterday was Friday, seven weeks without you. It was cool and overcast, but it never rained. I didn't rain, either. I cleaned, I worked in the garden, I watched a movie. The pall is still there, but it's not as bad as it was. Reading what I wrote right after you died, I realize that things aren't good, but nothing is as bad as it was. Still, when I go to bed at night I catch myself worrying that I'll wake you, I'm constantly heading for your room to check on you or taking a breath to talk to you when I walk past where you sat. The other day there was a noise that my grieving brain converted into your chirp, the one you made when you were wondering where I was. I always knew I'd miss you when you were gone, I just never knew how much. I don't know if you could process emotions, but I think, I hope you knew how much I loved you.

I miss you, peepedy.
Birdly

Registered:
Posts: 55
 #9 
If it's two steps forward and one step back, today is a big step back. Earlier in the week I found some pictures of you on my tablet, along with some video. I cried when I looked at them, but they were happy tears. It was a delight to see you walking around, playing, preening, being you. I loved hearing your chirps. It was so satisfying that I didn't mind that I couldn't reach out and feel your soft feathers or put out a finger for you to hop on. Today is very different. Today is two months without you and I'm really feeling it.

This weekend I must get ready for guests. I've had plenty of notice, I just haven't done anything. With you gone, doing things I like takes effort, doing things I don't like takes real effort. In years past I'd take a break, talk to you and rub your head and be ready to get back to it. You were my stress buster and now I'm having to cope with not having you to help me cope. It's awful.

The guests are friends of yours. When you first started slowing down I told them what was happening. They said they hoped they'd get to see you one more time. I was sure they would. You were so strong, so brave, I couldn't imagine you not lasting. I knew it would end some time, but not yet. But it did end and my heart remains broken. I miss my little guy.

I bought flowers. You and I both loved flowers, if for different reasons. I enjoyed their beauty; you thought they might be tasty. This summer I only picked one bouquet from the garden, where normally I would bring flowers in every week. Somehow it seemed more fitting to let them live and die in place. In an effort to be good to myself I ordered flowers online. They were some I've been wanting and there was a special. They do make me smile and I'm taking care of them, but because that's the responsible thing to do, not because I enjoy doing it. Even that is a step in the right direction, I guess.

It will get better, I know it will. Today is a sad anniversary, most days aren't like this. Although I still find myself starting for your door after my shower, I don't cry when I do that any more. Sometimes I look at your house or your picture and tears well up, but they don't fall. I'm looking forward to a time when thinking of you makes me do nothing but smile. Progress comes slower than I'd like and there will be days like this. I guess in a way that's a testament to you. No matter how difficult this has been and will be, nothing you did ever made me anything but happy.

I love you, you little man.
Birdly

Registered:
Posts: 55
 #10 
It's been a long week. Your bird aunt and uncle arrived on Tuesday. They're the world's best house guests. They cook, they entertain themselves and they don't make a mess. I love them dearly and I'm always unhappy when they go. They left yesterday and it was worse than usual, another in a sad string of losses. And, of course, what I would have usually done for consolation was play with you and there was no you.

Today has been better. It was nice to get back to my routine. I depend on routines. They save time, because they allow me to get things done while thinking of something else. Bird aunt and uncle don't interrupt my routines any more than they have to, but there's comfort in being able to fly on auto pilot again.

We talked about you a little bit. Not too much, because I still get teary when I do. They missed you and kept feeling like they would look and see you. They've known you for 30 years, too. Bird aunt was used to you sitting on her shoulder and playing with her earrings. Bird uncle liked to invent games to play with you. He still chuckles about the bang game, where he'd tap out a pattern on a surface and you'd tap the same pattern with your beak. After he left I was stuck playing that game with you. It wasn't my favorite, but it made you happy, so we'd play. Sometimes you'd start the game, sometimes I would, especially if it seemed like you needed some extra attention. You made up patterns, too. Some were complex enough that I couldn't duplicate them. You were a smart little guy.

I like to think you had a talk with kitty about taking care of the humans after you were gone. He was remarkable this week. In previous years he kind of hid out when bird aunt and uncle were here, spending most of his time upstairs or just briefly passing through the room where we were. This week he sat with us most of the time and was very friendly and personable. It didn't make up for not having you, but it really helped a lot.

Bird aunt and I talked about the importance of having pets, but not about losing them. It's been nine weeks and I'm still not used to being without you. You had a tremendous and positive effect on my life. I love and miss you, little bird.

Birdly

Registered:
Posts: 55
 #11 
On Friday it will be eleven weeks of no bird. It still hurts, although I don't cry as much or as often. I'm starting to get used to you not being there to supervise when I load the dishwasher or work at my desk. I'm kind of used to your empty house. I know when I go in the room your little head isn't going to pop up to see what I'm doing. You considered it your job to look after your humans and if I approached your house you climbed right up to your favorite perch, ready to be of service. I know that won't happen now, but I very much wish it would. You took very good care of us.

I have to go to a wedding on Friday. It's ok, I don't get quite as down on Fridays any more. Life is somewhat normal. I was putting away groceries yesterday and came across a bag of seeds I'd intended to use to grow greens for you. I was able to throw it away without feeling huge sadness. That's progress.

I used to worry that you would become only a memory, something that was just as intangible and unimportant as mist. Now I don't think that's the case. I think you will always be a presence for me, not as pervasive, of course, but still there. I hope so, because I love and miss you, my precious boy.

[image]
Birdly

Registered:
Posts: 55
 #12 
I haven;t been writing as often. It's not because I stopping loving and missing you, because that hasn't happened. It's that most of the time I do OK and sometimes writing makes me sad again. I've been really sad these last couple of days, so I need to deal with that.

It started because it's time to do the Christmas card. I asked your bird dad what should be on it and he said you. As much as I would have loved that, it's sad and that's not what you want on a Christmas card. Still I wanted to remember you on the first Christmas without you in almost 30 years. The compromise was to do a memorial on the back of the card. People who knew you will understand and appreciate; people who didn't won't be bummed. The card turned out beautifully, but doing the picture brought on the sorrow. It's a process and it will be OK again, but I had to get it out here so I can take more steps forward.

There was another very bad time, too, a couple of weeks ago. I dreamed about you, for the first time. In the dream I was holding you. I could feel your lovely, soft feathers, your warmth and your movements. Somehow I knew I was dreaming, that you weren't real and that if I looked at you, you wouldn't be there and I wouldn't feel you any longer. So I avoided looking and just enjoyed holding you. After a bit I needed to put you back in your house and I knew I would have to look. I didn't want to, so I woke myself up. I missed you more then than I have in a long time.

The wedding was very nice and I had fun. I was sitting with some people I hadn't seen in a while. Just as I was leaving one of them told me how sorry she was about you. It felt so nice to have you, and my grief, recognized. Your bird aunt has lost three kitties in the last couple of months. I plan to send a card. It's important to know others understand.

I think I'm cried out now. These times happen less and less, but when they do it's bad. It helps to write to you. As ever, you're there for me. Love always, my precious boy.


Birdly

Registered:
Posts: 55
 #13 
I was looking at themes for my browser today and came across one about silly birds. For some reason it struck me and made me miss my own silly bird even more than usual. Not that you were all that silly. In fact, for a cute little ball of feathers you had a lot of birdy gravitas. It was more like you were willing to play along when your people wanted to be silly, like when I'd hold you so your tail curled forward, making you look kind of like a shrimp. Then bird dad would sing "Shrimp Boats," but changing it to "shrimp birds" and I'd gently dance you. You never complained, just let us have our fun.

Things are just a little harder without you. Your bird dad went on a trip earlier this month and there was only kitty to keep me company. The time changed and there was no calming bird influence to balance the added darkness. The holidays are coming and you and our traditions with you won't be there. As each month, and it's been five now, goes by I realize more and more just how big a part of our lives you were.

I'm grateful to have had you and to have had you for so long. You are still loved and still very much missed. Love always, my little guy.
Birdly

Registered:
Posts: 55
 #14 
One year later. Very sad today. Love you and miss you, my special little man.
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