OK to be fair and honest, we did not loose a human family member, but we did loose our long time birdie companion Oscar "the grouch". Oscar was a beautiful grey cockatiel that had been apart of our family since I was young, and now some twenty-three years later, we are saying good-bye.
Thinking of all the people that Oscar knew and was able to acquaint I am blown away at the shear number. Oscar loved my grandmother for the short time she was here after he joined our family. He knew many other family members, childhood friends, childhood sweethearts, loud and obnoxious friends, family pets, different homes, several birds, college friends, spouses, and lots of our families newest and young generational members.
|Copyright: Jenn Grossi, A Mom's Handbook|
A short few weeks before he passed, we separated him and his several year companion Grover. My sister adopted Grover, in an effort to help both birds have a happier home life. Having them separate was a blessing that none of us really expected to work as wonderfully as it did. The old poop Oscar was singing, gladly visiting and exploring our home again, and made a great friend of Pumpkin. Grover, although taking his sweet time, has warmed up to his new environment, sings and talks to his new friends, and seems quite comfortable being able to have a family of his very own. In the mix Grover has also become good friends with a sweet kitty named Abby.
While the two birds were together they made poor pets. They would scream violently if we separated them more than a few feet, and they did not want to be handled by the kids. I had truly not know that such a sad side effect existed of getting my feathered friend a companion. Of course there was tension in the cage that we did not recognize until after they were separate.
At first both my sister and I had that sad feeling that we had something to do with Oscar's passing. However his symptoms were not at all congruent with a broken heart. We all agreed that he was happier than we had ever seen him.
I went through the motions of sadness the same as my sister, and I will admit that before she came over I had a terrible crying spell. However, more than anything watching my son experience the sadness and loss was by far the hardest. He had weeping spells that would overtake him at various moments throughout the day, he would see something that reminded him of his buddy and again would be sad. I even had to hold him until he fell asleep midday because he was so overcome with grief.
It does amazing me how close a person can become with their pet; how memories can be mixed in with that darling companion; how a child can grow and understand the world better because of experiences with their pets; how death does bring families closer; and how as an adult we still have a lot to learn and appreciate.