My cockatiel, Scruffy passed away at 3:30 a.m. on Sunday January 11th. I was with him when he died. He was perched over my heart as I held him. It was a heartbreaking experience. But at the same time truly amazing. At the moment of his death a wonderful feeling of love and peace filled the entire room. For a few minutes I felt nothing but peace. A sense that everything was ok. I felt no pain -- and he was finally free from his pain. I continued to sit in my recliner and hold him for quite awhile -- somehow I just couldn't let him go. I had his body cremated on Monday. When it was over I took him to my favorite lake and sat with him watching the water. During that time I wrote the following tribute to him:
For 14 years my beautiful little cockatiel, Scruffy was the light of my life, and I thank God for having placed this beautiful, magnificent feathered being in my care. But in truth, he got me through the worst time of my life by helping me to keep an open heart in the face of enormous tragedy. So perhaps it was I who was in his care.
His entertainingly funny antics always brought a smile to my heart. His undying curious and mischievous nature kept me on my toes. His beautiful voice filled our home with music. I love the way he would never give up on his quest to obtain something he wanted. There was no convincing him he couldn’t have it. His determination was beyond anything I’ve ever experienced. And his courage – well all throughout his illness he displayed an intense desire for life by overcoming whatever challenges were placed in his path.
Although it feels as if my heart is broken, I will continue to bring my focus back to the wonderful gifts he gave me; unconditional love, the meaning of true courage, the importance of being light hearted, how to open to joy, the knowledge that there is strength in vulnerability and most of all, his sharing with me the beauty and peace that comes at the moment of death.
I picture him now soaring with angels and perhaps even entertaining them by bopping up and down while he whistles his favorite song, the theme from the “Odd Couple”. Rest in Peace My Little One. And always keep those angels smiling.