21 Times. As of today. As of right now. Tonight. 21 times I have bid farewell to a precious pet. Said a sudden goodbye to one of our flock. Yes, they are birds. Yes, they are parakeets (or budgies). And every single loss has broken my heart (21 times in 15 years).
Tonight Wiki died suddenly. Everyone was having a good day. Had a good evening. Were settling into bed as I sung them the usual lullabies. Everyone was content. Grinding their beaks. Ready for dreamland.
But a couple hours later, just a short time ago, we heard some squawking. We went in to see if there was a scuffle for a favorite sleeping spot. And there was Wiki, at the bottom of the cage. Blood oozing from her beak and mouth. Still warm. But dead.
Wiki is one of six babies that were born within our flock. Back in 2014. A gift to us by a pair of parakeets we adopted from someone who could not keep them. Watching them hatch, and grow, and thrive, was an incredible experience that I will never forget.
It has been eight years since then. And since that time, we have said goodbye to many of our flock. Old age, or illness striking. We do everything we can. We take great care of our flock. They get amazing medical care. Fresh veggies. Lots of sunshine, and exercise, and music, and social connection. They live good lives here. But even so, death comes. And every single damn time, it breaks my heart as if it has never happened before.
Wiki has been looking after Daisy of late. Daisy hasn't been feeling her best, and we are going to see the vet in the morning to be sure she is ok, or to treat what we can. I was worrying about what would happen to Wiki if we lost Daisy. Only a few months ago Nokia, one of Wiki's hatch-mates, and Dancer, her father, passed away within weeks of each other. Both rather suddenly. Wiki sometimes likes to hang out in the flight cage she shared with them at bedtime.
And lately the gang of 5 that hang together, have been hanging out in there, close knit, for a good part of the day. They always settle in to their bedtime house together in the evening, but it seemed to me that Wiki was missing her sister and her father, and it helped her to hang out in there. I may be anthropomorphizing, but birds are social creatures, and they experience all of the emotions we do. Happiness, anger, fear, bliss, love, sadness. I know they do.
So, now, tomorrow, when I am taking Daisy to the vet to see if there is anything we can to do to help her get back to her normal self, I will be taking Wiki along. But to say goodbye.
Loss is a part of life. A part of having loved. There is no way around it. But I feel I've learned that lesson in so many ways. So many times.
I pray that Daisy will be ok. That she will be alright without sweetest Wiki by her side. I will do everything for her that I can. I will love the flock with all my heart. And I will hope that Wiki is flying side by side with Dancer, and Nokia, and all the members of the flock we miss to this day. Sometimes I dream of them at night. Tonight, however, I don't think I'll be sleeping.
We love you sweet Wiki. More than you know. Fly high and fast, with joy and song in your heart. We will miss and love you forever.
It's going to take some serious time in nature to help this heart of mine heal. I credit this flock of mine for teaching me compassion. For teaching me resilience, and for giving me so much joy over the years. The wild birds do much the same for me. I hope they can do the same for you as well.
Be well, my Friends
A traveler, singer, novice photographer, humane gardener, and nature lover.