A Love Lost

Tonight was like any other night, or so I thought. I opened my door, put my groceries away, got out of my work clothes, and went to go give my cockatiel his goodnight “kiss”. When I didn’t see him silhouetted on his perch, I knew something was wrong. Then I got closer to his cage and the unmistakable scent of death hit me. I quickly turned on my bedroom light to confirm what I already knew:

My cockatiel Xavier…my little love…my animal companion of 16 years…is dead.

Picking him up from the bottom of his cage, I cradled his incredibly light body to mine…made even lighter by the departure of his soul. He looks fine. Soft grey and white feathers, pink feet with perfect claws, eyes closed like he’s about to turn his head and nestle his beak between his shoulders. My heart seems to beat slower as it hits me full force that he will never open his eyes again.

I sit on the edge of my bed, tears staining my nightshirt as I clutch the hollow shell of my long-time friend to my breast. I knew him since he was only 5 months old, and got him as my 13th birthday present. This September was going to be his 16th birthday…and now it won’t be.

I won’t ever be woken up at 7am again by his squawks. I won’t hear his whistles of greeting when I come back from jogging in the morning. He will never again annoy me by trying to nibble my Xbox controller or TV remote. He will never again melt my heart when he walks across my couch to cuddle under my chin as I read at night. My baby…my little love…my Xavier…is gone. And nothing I do can bring him back.

I can only hope that whatever life he leads next is pleasant and fulfilling, as I tried to make this one for him. No matter the form he takes…I pray that he is happy.

Sleep sweet, Xavier. I’ll miss you.

26 thoughts on “A Love Lost

  1. TarnZ,

    About 2 years ago my lady had a late term miscarriage and we lost our first born Xavier. It was a sad day. She had to be induced and it was sad watching his heart beat a few moments before. What was fucked up was that I couldnt console my lady and we split afterwards to greive and stuff. Reading ur post. brought me back.

    My condolances for your Xavier. Animals really do a great service for us.

  2. Pets have a profound and positive effect on us went we take the time to consider and interact with them as individuals. I was reminded of this during a very recent episode with my dog of 7 years almost died and needed emergency surgery only to find out afterwards there was another underlying condition that almost did her in as well. My condolences for your loss…

  3. I’m so sorry to hear that Sophia, I love cockatiels and parrots and would be in bits if anything happened to my boys…..

    Big hug coming at ya xx

  4. I wrote the following poem in memory of my son’s First Dog:

    Missing Tuffy…1993 – 7/8/2008

    The house seems oh so very empty
    now that Tuffy is gone
    at the door no longer is he waiting
    to greet me with a bark
    or run outside to play within our yard
    when I get home from work
    wake me up in the middle of the night
    from a dream so sweet
    yapping and barking at the cacophony
    of the noises of the night
    prowling on the other side of our door
    nor hop up onto the couch
    where Tuffy used to curl up into a ball
    laying down beside me
    from time to time as I watched a movie
    our house will not be quite
    the same without our little furry friend
    nor will we walk together
    beside the road before I head for work
    yet these will be the times
    that I shall do my very best to remember
    all the happiness and joy
    that he brought to my wife, son and me
    down throughout the years
    before the hour of the long goodnight

    Copyright David M. Green

  5. Sorry for your loss Sophia. This one really touched me.

    Everything you described, things you recall, and the realization it will never be the same tomorrow without the little guy around. It’s the same emotions i dealt with when i lost my brother years back.

    A lot of people might say it was ‘just a bird’. To you, it was family. That’s all that matters.

    When you feel really sad, hang onto those good memories and relive them. And when you do, remember that you have those memories for a reason. because he mattered and made your life more complete and you’d rather have these memories than none at all.

  6. OMG, that is the worst! I am sooooo sorry for your loss, Sophia. I totally feel your pain as my 19-year-old cat isn’t doing good and I dread this day. What a nightmare. I don’t know what else to say except, what a blessing to have a beautiful companion, and that you gave your pet the best life ever. Cherish the memories. Cry, blog about it, do whatever you need to. We are here for you. My greatest sympathy to you. (((HUGS))

  7. Found your site via the way of MrMary. I feel for you. I, too, once had a cockatiel who survived 17 great years. Seeing your description of him nibbling on your Xbox and remote controller brought back memories. Thanks for the post.

  8. I’m so sorry for your loss. Though I am but a stranger to you I feel your pain as I too have experienced similar loss. May you find a bit of peace and comfort in the wonderful memories of the many years with your lovely companion.

  9. Thank you, MrMary. I appreciate your sympathy and am sorry for your loss as well. I’m also sorry that you and the lady weren’t able to stay together through such a difficult time.

  10. Thank you, M3.
    I do have many people in my life who do indeed say “but it was just a bird”. I want to yell at them so much…”it” was a HE, and he was my friend and companion. I appreciate your understanding more than you can possibly know.

  11. Hugs are much appreciated, Maryanne. I hope your Billy has a few more years in him, but if not I’m confident he will pass on knowing he was well loved.

  12. Thanks, Fedup.

    Yeah, we really did grow up together, so much so that his presence was nearly a part of my everyday routine. It was very difficult to get ready for work the next few mornings, but I’m better now. I do still accidentally say goodnight to him every once in a while though…

  13. Tarnished, I’m just catching up on your archives and read this. I’m so sorry about the loss of your feathered loved one. He was your companion, and losing companions is always tragic. My deepest condolences.

    Cockatiels are wild here, there are flocks of them in the trees near my house. Sometimes they fly in huge formations (to the great surprise of car drivers, who have to swerve out of their way). If I could catch one and somehow mail it to you I would.

    (hugs my furbabies a little closer)

  14. Thank you so much for this. I’ve been missing him a lot lately, but have a new opportunity to adopt a blue-gold macaw that’s had an abusive life. He won’t ever take the place of Xavier…yet I’ll be happy to open my heart to someone else who needs it.

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