My Sweet one. My Charlie. My Charles Dean Dean.
Hey Charlie, I don't know where to start on this. I don't know what to say to you. I feel haunted so I want to write something to you...
You were a cockatiel. You were.. you are my first pet bird. You were almost 22. It was so sudden. You were there and then suddenly you weren't. I can't get that image of you out of my mind. I keep replaying it and what happened before in my mind.
What if I did? What if I stepped on you. I know you went on the floor now and then.. and you were near where I would have put my foot. I thought I would have felt you though.. but I think I felt something, but it's blurring together now. I was just in my bedroom before that with the cat.. did I feel something in there? Or am I imprinting a phsyical memory onto what happened? I keep thinking I would have bloody known if I stepped on you. I remember most times if i stpped on something in here, I would always look down.
I keep seeing that image of you lying there. a sense of urgency when I didn't see you in with your friend.. where are you? a second of calm.. there you are... and then panic. I panicked. it only took a second to realize you were not here anymore. I didn't know what to do with myself. Or you. I kept screaming your name over and over and over. Like somehow that would bring you back. I wanted to rewind time.
I picked you up and how there was just nothing there. There was just this physical body. you were gone. Your presence was gone. It was os strange. it felt surreal. I remember seeing your head flop to the side. It feels so morbid. I can feel the limp weight of you against my chest still, where I held you against me while in a panic. And then after. Because I didn't want to let you go.
It's that limpness that's so horrible. Because I have so many memories. Countless memories of holding you. you on my shoulder. you being annoyed at me. you snipping or saying your messed up version of pretty bird. of you shrieking in joy and it being so loud it hurt my ears. you bobbing your head. you chewing your beak in a sense of contentment. our countless hours in the evening sitting.. calm and safe and everything was okay.
It was the first time I ever found a pet that had died suddenly. 20 minutes earlier you were alive. Then you were not. You were almost 22. you've been with me since I was 11. I'm 32 now. We've gone through so much together. You were there when I lost tiger. When I lost my uncle. I grew up with you.
I have had many birds.. it was always in the morning or there was sickness. I knew it was coming. They were stiff. You were not. You were soft. You were warm. This was sudden. IT was sudden and it was swift and it was cruel and it left this ripped out blackness in my chest because you are just not here. You should be here. WHy are you not here?
You were still warm. I didn't know what to do with you. I felt like it was wrong to bury you. It felt so horribly wrong. I was so worried. what if you were somehow alive? What if you were locked in your body? I held your chest against my ear.. feeling.. trying to hear if there was anything. a heartbeat.. anything. digestion. stomach sound. breath... signs of living. I don't think I heard anything. There was the rushing of my own blood though. it overshadowed everything.
Your presence was gone. it was just your shell then. but you still felt faintly warm. I rememmber just breathing you in. holding my nose up under your wing against your side... just trying to breathe in your unique Charlie smell one last time.
it was dark when I went out to bury you. The lighting bugs were out. I was in shock. I think I was on auto pilot. I went to the side garden but I couldn't see so I went to the front.
I felt so wrong putting you down there. It felt so much better to have you on the grass. I felt like I was burrying you alive. it felt so wrong. It was so foreign and completely wrong and wrong wrong bad. I burried you and came back inside.
I still had not cried. Not at all. I was hystical at first but then there was nothing. I was wondering if I was emotionally broken. My friend said I was in shock. I guess I was. I cry all the time now. I think of you all the time.
what haunts me the most is that I'll never know for sure if I stepped on you. I wish I had taken you to a vet to get an autotopsy to know for sure.. but maybe knowing for sure would be worse. But it's this ever present, lingering feeling of complete self disgust. I felt so disgusted with myself. I didn't want to be in my own body. I wanted to get away from myself.
I still go over it again and again.. the only solace I can take is that if I did.. you must have gone quickly and painlessly. I hope you did.
But.. if I did.. if I did kill you. I can't begin to say how terrible... I don't even know what to say to you if I did. Just that I love you. I love you so much. and i am so so so sorry if I did. You trusted me with your life and if I ended that life on accident, please please forgive me. Please be living somewhere now. Please let your spirit be somewhere. I want you to know how much you changed my life. You were always there. my buddy. my friend. my constant companion.
I dug you back up again a half hour or so later.. I couldn't bear the thought that I couldn't see you again. Somehow it felt like you were still here with me, even though you were gone. I remember digging with my fingers in the dirt, feeling for you. I pulled you back out and held you against my face and then I cried. I cried as I held you up against me. I breathed in your smell again. I felt you again. You were fainly warm. but it was fading. I rested my eyes against the top of your head. I just wanted you one last time.
I made your resting spot more elaborate this time. it felt so wrong to put you on dirt.. I went looking for flowers.. there were tiger lillies and these purple things that were in bloom. I grabbed a bunch and stuffed them in my pockets.. I lined the bottom of the resting spot with them. I gently put you back in... I went back and searched for more. I got enough so that you were totally covered in flowers. I think I put a live maple leaf over your face.. even though it was covered in flowers.
only then did i feel okay putting the dirt back over you. like it wasn't touching you.. you had a barrier. I burried you for good that time.. but i keep going back out to the spot. every day almost. I took a glass with water and put flowers in it.. i lay a flower on your spot often. the flowers are still blooming in the jar Charlie..
I remember silently looking up at the stars.. praying to God or something for some kind of sign.. something that would let me know it was okay... that you were okay. I know it was the niht before hte 4th.. so yeah fireworks. but right at that exact moment.. I heard a boom. someone set one off. I didn't see it. I don't know if it was one that exploded in the sky.. but it felt like.. something... like something telling me it was okay. you were okay.
The worst was Tiger. that was .. a gaping yaw of a hole of horrid yerning for just ONE MORE MOMENT.. one more touch..
but you were older. you were 21.7 years old.. at least. I have a journal entry mentioning you from nov of 1995.. you lived 2/3 of my life with me.
I feel better after writing this to you. I hope somehow you get to read it. I feel like.. even if there's no afterlife, because i don't know.. even if there's not.. we're all made up of star stuff.. and when everything ends. when the world ends, when our sun dies.. we'll all go back to the stars. we'll be together again. all of us. all our loved ones that have gone before us. if we do have spirits.. yours must know how much i care for you. I wonder if you watch over me at all. I know I kept trying to see tiger when she died.. I never did. I wanted a dream of her. but I think she knew. I know she knew how much I loved her. Sorry, know this is about you.
It hasn't even been two weeks. it's not even two weeks without you.. and you've been here for 21 years of my life. always there. always present. you were just there. a fixture of my reality. maybe that's why im so fixated on your grave. i feel like i can talk to you there. I'm obsessed with finding your feathers, btw.. I look all over for htem now to collect them. They smell like you...
I still yern for you. I want to hold you again so badly. I miss you. i miss you so much. and i'll never know. i'll never know for certain how you died. but.. I just hope you know how much you were loved. how much you meant to me.
you'll be my little angle bird now. my little angel on my shoulder. I lost others before you. but you were different. you were Charlie. You still are. You'll always be my Charlie.
I coudl keep writing.. this turned into one long cathartic ramble that probably makes no sense whatsoever. I wish I could write more poetically for you..
I just want you to know.. you are loved. you are cherished. you are yerned for and cried for and ached over. I know it will get better with time.. but you are up in the caliber of losing tiger. THat deep hurt that doesn't go away for years..
I hope I see you again. i want to meet you again. I want to believe there's an after life... there has to be somethign, right? we have to have some sort of energy or soul.. I'm sure.
I'm sure we'll meet again.
With love and a broken heart,
your friend Michelle