My husband and I were snuggled up under a big blanket on the couch -we were fighting the same cold and the blanket was on our side.
Our Lacy snuck out of her room, went to the bird cage, quietly lifted the door, took her bird out, and snuck back into her room. She knew that she wasn’t supposed to take her bird in her room, but she did anyway.
A few minutes later, we heard some wailing from her room… Trenton came bolting out.
“Lacy’s bird just DIED!” He announced. Lacy was behind him, a limp blue parakeet in her hands. Tears were rolling down her face.
“What happened?” I asked her.
“She DIED!” Lacy cried out.
“I know, but how? What happened?”
“I don’t know,” Lacy said through her tears, “She just DIED!”
We tried getting a straight answer out of her -she told us Blue was sitting on her finger and suddenly died. Finally we asked Trenton.
“What happened, buddy? Did you see it?”
“Lace sitted on her. I didn’t want her to.”
We never once thought to tell our six year old daughter not to SIT on her bird.
So we all sat in the hallway around the dead bird, and not one of us had a dry eye. Lacy -for the first time -was experiencing the pain of real loss. The rest of us couldn’t do anything about her pain, and that’s why we were crying.
Instead of taking a shower or shaving my legs like I had originally planned, I made a satin-lined felt pouch to put the much-loved birdie in. My husband went to the computer and started googling around to see if there was any way to revive a warm, dead birdie body.
I kept the scraps from the pouch and made Lacy her own little pouch. We pulled Blue’s tail feathers out and put them in it… I told her it is her special pouch to remember Blue. She takes it everywhere we’ll let her.
Sunday night, Lacy stayed up and had a long talk with me.
“She was my own daughter,” she said, again through tears, “And now I’m just so heart broken!”
It’s hard for me to see her hurting so much. I want to go to the city and buy her a new bird.
I don’t want my girl growing up in a world where you sit on a bird, suffocate it, and get a new one in the morning.
I want her to grow up in a world where she experiences things like loss and learns how to deal with them -learns from them…
She scratched words into the headstone.
“I Love Blue”
She has since lined the grave with all sorts of rocks -and she adds to the rock collection whenever she finds a beautiful one.
Rocks are all she has to give -they’re free and available, so she finds the very best, the very prettiest, and she gives them to her own daughter.
I think it’s time for me to step up and help my daughter make a few floral arrangements so she can have a little something else to offer her departed feather friend.
They really did make the best team.