Tag Archives: bereavement

Lost and Found

Grief does things to people. It has been bothering me that I don’t have any of the orange feathers from Inigo’s legs. I last saw one in the kitchen earlier this year, and foolishly thinking that there would be more chances to save one, I didn’t pay it much mind and eventually it disappeared. I had about given up when tonight I got the strongest feeling that there was one somewhere in the apartment. I looked in his carrier. No. I took apart the dust trap in the dryer. Nope, not there either, though I did find a couple of his woodchips. 

“The kitchen.”

It was like a whisper. 

But I thought, no, that one is gone.

“Another.”

So I started looking in all the places that I haven’t cleaned in the last two weeks, if ever,┬áplaces where a tiny feather might have landed and been covered in dust.

I got a flashlight and pulled the refrigerator out, and there it was, on the floor, between the refrigerator and the wall, with a little dust bunny. It’s not the same one I lost. That one was a little fuller. But it’s a feather from one of his “socks” and it is one of the most precious things I will ever have. 

Just when I start to think his presence is fading and that he’s leaving, he reminds me that he never will.

In a Breath

I picked up Inigo’s ashes yesterday. I put them in his house for the day before moving them to the nightstand last night. When I held the little box to my heart, his presence was so strong. He felt young and whole and healed. He felt free.

It feels right to keep them in the bedroom. Inigo loved it there. I think that is where he felt safest. I sleep under the birdie quilt now.

The term “Sunday Blues” has taken on new meaning. There’s not much of a point to cooking pasta dinner when it’s just for me.

Even the laundry is different. There are so few towels now in the towel wash now. Just my bath towels, a couple of kitchen towels, and the towel I put under the front door to keep the cooking smells from the hallway out when my neighbor makes whatever stinky fish thing she makes. The towel wash used to include birdie towels from Inigo’s shelf and bar cloths from when I cleaned the cage. I stopped short when I went into the spare bathroom to collect the bar cloths from the edge of the sink and there were none there.

Because you haven’t had to clean his house in over a week.

The days are filled with moments like that now. Opening the drawer and seeing all the unused syringes there. Taking a banana from the fruit bowl and realizing it’s just a banana now, not a NANNER. Seeing Inigo’s follower count go down, little by little, one here, two there. Opening the oven to heat something up, seeing the writing on the bottom where you can put some water if you want to set the oven to self-clean, and realizing there’s nothing stopping me from using that feature because there’s no reason to worry about the fumes. Or the fumes from Scrubbing Bubbles. Or candles, if I had any. Or Carpet Fresh. Or perfume. Or nail polish and nail polish remover. My hands are a mess from my trip to New Orleans earlier this month, the skin dry from washing them in the hard water there. I had preened the wrong feather the day before we said goodbye, and the wound from the nip he gave me has faded into a small pink dot on my hand.

And silence, so much silence, especially when the thermostat shuts the heat off. Sometimes music or turning on the TV helps, but they are irritating as often as not.

I’m still finding feathers, including two last night, bright green, in the home gym, and may the cosmos smite me if I’m lying but they weren’t there yesterday morning or afternoon when I packed his unused syringes in the spare room closet. My floors are dark wood and my gym mat is purple. I would have seen the larger feather for sure.

Inigo is free, but he’s also here, all around, the breath that blows the feathers out from wherever they hide.

I hope I never stop finding them.

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