I read and re-read this post numerous times... since I also can relate to your loss.... It does take awhile, but try to remember the fun times... Nothing can and will ever replace Gus. Give yourself time. Know that your husband is also going thru this along with you...We finally got in to see an avian specialist so we drove Gus down to Austin. He was able to run tests and found the growth in Gus’s belly within the first hour. There was such a build up of pressure that Gus’s ability to breathe had been compromised. The vet drew of almost 11 grams of fluid off of my little bird which we sent off for cytology testing. Gus was breathing normally and I was so relieved. Jeff and I both commented on the size and non uniform nature of it. But, I think I was so over joyed that we got to take him home and it wasn’t an infectious agent, that I was blind to just how sick Gussy was. After the fluid draw, he was so tiny and emaciated. I can look back and see where it may have started, but I honestly thought he was just being a little antisocial as he molted. We pulled into the driveway and I turned around to check on Gus and he was on his side on the bottom of his cage. He was barely breathing and was cold to the touch. Jeff and I took turns holding him and talking to him and crying. When Jeff went to pull the car into the garage, Gus fluttered and stretched out his head like he was trying to drink the air and then he relaxed and let go. He was so beautiful and I just wanted to pet the life back into him. It was so devastating because we had left the clinic with a little hope. We had scheduled a check up for the next week and the vet techs were talking about how sweet he was and that his markings were so beautiful. I was drinking it all in and thinking I was going to have at least a decade or more with my Gus-Gus. We had two hours at best. He had been mildly sedated for the tests and the vet left Gus sedated for the journey home. I am so grateful for your condolences and your support. To have some folks understand this has been a blessing. Several of our friends and family members have checked in, and although well-meaning, have suggested getting “a new bird”. I’m not angry at their ignorance or insensitivity. He wasn’t a part so easily replaced. But a part of me died with him. Yeah, he left feather dust embedded in my soul and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I feel you here completely, except that these are my babies and I don’t have human babies. They may not be your human children but they’re still family and there’s a hole now that everyone can feel. Lolita is still here but she’s not Jeffrey and Jeffrey was so special, I’m just at a loss. Waking up is just so hard.I need to rant, mumble, and let some thoughts flow. I heard a sad song on the radio as I was driving home from work and I just started crying and missing Gus. The vet called and the cytology didn’t really reveal anything concrete. Apparently he had hemorrhaged. According to the cytology report, he may have suffered a trauma, possibly, but they couldn’t rule out cancer. That can only be confirmed with a biopsy. It wasn’t quite as helpful as I had hoped....as if I could have controlled anything on this scale. I would’ve if I had the capacity. No damage to his lungs or air sacs, but some liver enzymes were present in the serum they tested. The vet said those could be attributed to several different disease possibilities.
Some one mentioned that at least we still had Max and Hiccup. I said yeah, but inside I seethed. When a car breaks down, at least having another car IS helpful. I know my birds aren’t “children” but they are each precious to me as little individuals and I have a different and varying relationship with each of them. Having Hiccup and Max is a blessing, but Hiccup is, well, Hiccup and not Max or Gus. Ditto Max.
We say some strange and unhelpful things to grieving folks.
Jeff said that he has cried more over Gus’s death than his father’s passing in June of last year. I told him that I thought, at least for me, that relationships with our animals can be much less complicated and a little more pure. Also, this was so unexpected.
I don’t know. I still want him back and I still feel badly for overlooking some subtle behavior changes he displayed. It’s just where I am and I needed to get it out into the sunshine of the community and out of the darker recesses of my brain where they fester.
Again, I don’t think I can ever repay AA folks for the kindness and support and understanding you all have shown to me during this loss. I keep hoping to wake up from this nightmare, but I felt almost human today and didn’t cry in front of my students at least.