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Posts: 4
Last night I woke up to find that I, someone who's raised parrots since I was young, made a huge mistake and it cost me dearly, it cost my youngest feathered kid's life. Nero was only 4 months old, a sweet, loving, playful, silly Black Capped Conure. Every day we'd lay down for a little while, while I was still completely awake and aware, and I'd let him cuddle with me while I listened to music, read or just pet him. Yesterday, after one of my insomnia attacks that lasted 34 hours, I still felt fine and Nero wanted to cuddle so I figured ten minutes of cuddle time wouldn't be a big risk, I NEVER should have taken that chance. Even though I took precautions such as laying in an uncomfortable position to keep myself from falling asleep, having music on louder than is comfortable for resting, leaving the light on and remaining verbally and physically active by talking to and petting my baby, for some reason I passed out without warning or even realizing it was happening.

I woke up about two hours later, not even realizing I had passed out until I say him, little baby Nero, laying dead on the bed next to me, rigor mortis hadn't even set in, he hadn't even grown cold yet, if I had woken up five minutes, just FIVE MINUTES sooner he would likely still be alive! I don't know if this makes me a bad bird momma or just someone who was unlucky enough to have something like this happen.

Five minutes, just five minutes sooner and he'd have been alive still, I'd still have my sweet little baby to hold, my little 'bottle rocket' chirper (Some of his calls sounded like a bottle rocket shooting up) would still be singing to me, dancing along with the music I'm playing, singing along, practicing his words. I've lost one parrot, Vergil, in the past, two years ago, but that was due to illness, I almost went off the deep end when I lost him, now losing Nero, who was so much like Vergil, because I made a mistake, I feel like a murderer, I really do. I just wanted to lay down and cuddle him for a few moments, but all because I passed out, because I misjudged my own body's limitations, he's dead now because of me. It's one thing to lose a pet due to age, illness or things out of your control, but to be a direct cause of their death, I feel like a monster, like I don't deserve to continue living, like I need to be punished by the same fate he suffered. I just don't know what to do.

I still have my two year old Quaker parrot who's been trying to cheer me up but I just can't stop crying, wishing life had a rewind button, which I know it doesn't, I know nothing can change the past, I know I can't get my baby bird back. I still don't know what to do with his body yet, I wrapped him up in some soft fabric I know he liked and put him in the freezer for right now until I can find a proper way to tend to his remains, I'm considering having him cremated if I can find a place that does it here. I know the body is just a shell, but I want to be able to show some respect to him in how it's tended to.

I just don't know what to do, I have NEVER been the cause of one of my parrot's deaths before, normally the feathered kids I have live healthy, full lives but this, it's inexcusable. My roommate keeps telling me it wasn't my fault, that I didn't know I was going to pass out like that because I normally never pass out that suddenly, but I can't help but question myself. I've had birds since I was a kid, I KNOW better, I know everyone makes mistakes but that was a mistake I SHOULDN'T have made, there's no excuse for it and Nero didn't deserve to pay for my mistake with his life. He hadn't even learn to fly yet, his wings were still growing out, he was only four months old! He shouldn't have died this young, he deserved to live a full life like my other feathered kids do, not die because the one he trusted, the one who PROMISED to never hurt him made such a stupid mistake!

I don't know what to do, I want my baby back so much, I feel worthless and would gladly give my own life if it meant he could have lived, he was sweet, young and innocent, he didn't deserve this, it's like losing a child all over again, he was my feathered son, my baby bird, my friend and I killed him because I was too stupid to know my own body's limitations. I don't know if I can ever forgive myself for this, I don't know if he could forgive me for it. I keep hearing the bell in his cage ring though he's not there, keep hearing his little chirps and rushing to to freezer thinking maybe he's alive, only to find him right there, looking asleep, unmoved in that little cloth he's wrapped in. He looks so peaceful, he shows no signs of pain, his wings tucked in like they are when he's asleep, his eyes half lidded, beck closed, like he died peacefully but I know that couldn't have been the case, he got killed because I fell asleep and likely rolled over on him, there's no way he could have gone peacefully, he wasn't under me when I woke up, he was to the side, no damage to his body, rigor mortis never set in in his neck though. I guess the most I can hope if that the death was fast, that he didn't suffocate and instead suffered neck injury, least the latter would have been less painful for him. I pray to the gods he didn't suffer, oh I hope he didn't suffer, but I have no way of knowing for sure, so that's going to keep haunting me and I know it.

How could I have been so stupid? How could I have let this happen? I should have known better than that, I loved that bird, even in death I STILL love that baby bird, he did NOT deserve to go like this, he was a gift from the gods to me, so affectionate, loving, funny, trusting and I betrayed him in the worst way possible. I want so much to join him in the afterlife but I know Yamato, my quaker, still needs me here. I just don't understand why Nero had to die, just five minutes sooner and he'd still be alive, still be singing his little head off and playing 'bat bird' on the top of his cage and from his perches. I feel like a part of me has been ripped clean out, I am to blame for the death of that earth bound angel. I don't know how to move on from this, I don't know how to start or if I can even trust myself to cuddle with my baby birds anymore. I cannot let something like this happen again. 

Part of me keeps telling me to get another bird, one who's larger, one that this wouldn't happen with due to their size, another to ease the pain, one to correct the mistake I made but I know such feelings are illogical, and that if I get another parrot it still won't be Nero, I know there's no way to bring him back and Yamato is trying, bless his little heart he's trying to cheer me up, but there's just this big, devouring hole I feel now compounded with this unshakable guilt. I don't know what to do, where to turn, how to even think about moving forward, the image I woke to his burned in my memory and just keeps replaying over and over, reducing me to tears and shaking fits. I just don't know what to do, I know I am the reason he's no longer here and just don't know what to do, how to heal this, if it can ever be healed. It took me a year and a half to get over Vergil's death due to illness, but this. I feel like I'm going to be feeling like this for the rest of my life. A part of me died with him, I know that, and I know there's no way to get that part back.

Posts: 180
Dear CatalystSpark
I am SOOO sorry you lost Nero in such a tragic way.  Even though Nero died, it has sent you to the hell of grief with an incredibly large side order of guilt.  I know it is just like losing a child.  Nero sounds like such a special boy.

The only thought I can offer is to think of what you would advise someone else who had a similar experience.  And then follow your own advice.

I suspect you would tell them that awful, heart-rending things happen to good people and birds.  We just don't know the reason.  You did the best you could with the information and precautions you took at the time.  It was a horrible ACCIDENT.  Unfair, cataclysmic, heart-rending, unthinkable, but an accident.  You would have thrown yourself in front of a bus to save Nero.  Where ever he is at the bridge, he knows that.  He loved you.  You loved him. 

I am an old lady now, but I have been a bird person all my life.  I was a bird breeder for 15 years (mostly parakeets and cockatiels).  I have vivid, aching memories of a number of deaths of my feathered companions that were totally my fault.  One drowned in a jar of water I carelessly left next to my aquarium.  One was eaten by the family cat when I thought I had latched my bedroom door, but hadn't quite.  One baby bird was bloodily slaughtered by its own father when I didn't remove him from the cage soon enough.  Sometimes death and guilt are the collateral damage of love.

But I have many other memories of miraculous rescues (saving a bird (without injury) who set himself on fire, healing a bird who fell onto a cactus, rescuing a bird who had arranged his certain death by hanging with a paper clip).  All of these things involved "good luck".  What happened to Nero was sad and (now) unchangeable "bad luck". 

No one can make perfect decisions all the time.  Most of the time the results of an imperfect decision are negligible.  This time it was tragic. 

I feel so bad for you.  You are suffering 100 times more than Nero ever did.  A hug from me (one bird person) to you (another bird person).  We risk unhappiness and tragedy by choosing to have living feathers abiding in our homes.  But the love and entertainment and fun times are worth it (even though I know it doesn't seem like that to you right now.)

Hang in there and focus on the good luck parts as much as you can.   Nero would want that for you.


Posts: 72
Oh I am so sorry for your loss and for the awful feelings you are experiencing right now. And I so recognise the guilt in your words - I said them 9 weeks ago after my furbaby died after an accident. Now, I have come to forgive myself, as I know Megan would have, in fact our babies wouldn't need to forgive us as they don't believe we are to blame at all! Remember that amazing unconditional love that only our pets are capable of? That is eternal! It was a terrible tragic accident. Be kind to yourself. Nero would want that. Is there a reason for your babies names being Greek? Nero means water and Yamato (actually Yemato) means full, or Gamato (with a soft g) means something like awsome. Great names anyway.

We would love to see a pic of dear sweet Nero, when you are feeling up to it.

I am glad you have found this site, it has been, and continues to be a place of great comfort to me when I thought none was to be found.

Claire xx

Posts: 26
Catalyst Spark, I am so sorry for your loss. I'm glad you found this board, the people here are wonderful and comforting.

I too, feel responsible for the loss of my dog. Try to remind yourself that it was an accident and that you never meant your Nero any harm.

Nero knows all, now. He knows how sorry you are, how much you are hating yourself. He knows how much you loved him and always will.

Try to be gentle with yourself. Only time will help ease the pain.


Posts: 29

I am so so sorry for what you are going through with the loss of your pet.   We are all human and make mistakes, there is really no explanation, things just happen.  We have all experienced guilt, it can be an awful and debilitating emotion.  Please give yourself the gift of forgiveness.  Your sweet pet would not want you to suffer.  ~ BuddysMomNC     


Posts: 11,059
I am very sorry Nero has passed on.  Losing a treasured pet due to an accident is very painful.  Please don't be too hard on yourself though.  I know that is easier said than done at first, but you would never knowingly do anything to harm one your precious pets.  You will be in my prayers.

precious Christoph ~ gone 2 years now~


Posts: 4
Thank you for your words, I've had birds all my life, though I am still rather young and this is the first time something like this has happened. I guess the first time is always the hardest, though it makes me want to be 100% certain there will not be a second time. From now on, any time I cuddle with one of my feathered babies I'm making sure that my roommate is in the room with me to wake me up or move the baby bird to their cage if I happen to pass out. My heart could not take having something like this happen again. I keep calling poor Yamato by Nero's name, it's just natural to me right now I guess. Even with such a short time together, Nero and I did have a lot of fun times, like when I had to fish him out my shirt sleeve because he saw a space he could fit into and thought "Cave!" or having to chase him down when he decided to explore my blankets. How he'd fly off his cage and land on the floor and then just stare at me until I walked over and picked him up off the 'evil floor' because he refused to walk on it. Our game of mimic when we'd copy each other's movements and sounds, I miss that already but I know I can't get it back. I just have to try to pick up the pieces and continue, it's just hard to right now but I do know I have to, he wouldn't want me to give up on everything because of this.

Actually, this sounds silly, but I got their names from my favorite video game, Devil May Cry, thus using the names Vergil, Yamato, Nero and a cockateil I had who I had to surrender due to a cross country move was named Dante. The Devil May Cry names have been an ongoing thing with me. After having picked apart bit by bit of the information of the occurrence, while it still hurts, I realize the odds were against me, my mind not being completely right due to how long I had been awake, my hypoglycemia which makes me prone to dropping fast coupled with having been awake for 34 hours, it was a situation that just spelled disaster considering I had pulled a 24 hour day the day before that. Yesterday I ended up crying to the point where my whole forehead and beyond was in excruciating pain but, though it I kept waking up throughout the night last night, thankfully I was able to get some sleep, haven't managed to force myself to eat yet but I know I'll need to soon.

I'm trying to find a way to get that photo, the only photo of Nero I have, on my computer from my phone, it's one of him hanging upside down from the top of his cage, something the little 'bat bird' did all the time. Hopefully I can get it transfered soon, when I have the will to fight with the phone to make it transfer it.

Thank you guys, I would respond to each or the rest individually but, right now, I don't have much of the will to be able to, and for that I apologize. But your words are helping, it is nice to know I'm not alone on this and that others have been able to move forward, for this I thank you.

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