Goodbyes and Hellos

Goodbyes and Hellos

I didn't need to be told what it meant when I heard the awful screech last Wednesday. 

I raced out of bed to your cage in the living room. Mom and Dad soon joined me. There you were laying limp and lifeless on your back. When I put my finger to your chest and there was no pulse, it was clear to me that my sweet little lovebird was gone.

I don't know what caused your death. You were sleeping more as you grew older, but you weren't showing obvious signs of illness.

Oh, Esther! My heart broke to see you laying there at the bottom of your cage. I cried. I cried because I loved you so much for the thirteen years we were together. Loving you made losing you harder, but I don't regret it.

C.S. Lewis wisely wrote, "To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable."

And so I quickly made the decision to love again. Not three hours had passed before Mom, Dad, and I were bringing three new lovebirds home. The widower of the friend who originally gave you to my family wanted me to have all his remaining lovebirds. I was touched by his kindness.
I'm told these three are old, but I've chosen to love and enjoy them for however long they are with me. I've named them Valerie, Emily, and Francis (CeCe for short). At first, they weren't as tame as you, but they're warming up to me already. They're learning that they can trust me and have stopped biting my hand.

​I'm inspired by the human mama you and they both shared before she died two years ago. She worked as a NICU nurse and loved and cared for all her birds, even if it meant carrying them in a baby sling or taping splayed legs. She valued every life and together with her husband fought actively for the unborn and adopted children. Here are some pictures of the many baby lovebirds she raised.
Esther, you were a good pet, and I have many happy memories of you. I remember when we brought you home and I was so small that your cage towered above me. I was young enough to play with dolls then, so a few times I let you walk around and explore my large doll house. More recently I remember when my massage therapist came to our house twice a week, and we watched and talked about you as I received lymphatic drainage. I always enjoyed introducing you to company and letting them pet you. Sometimes I'd bring you into my bedroom, close the door, and let you fly. You loved to land on my head and climb up and down my long hair, occasionally leaving a gift while you were at it. Now I'm making similar memories with Valerie, Emily, and CeCe.
One memory of you especially sticks out to me. A month before you died, you sat on my shoulder while I read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Last Wednesday, I cried as I covered your warm body with cold dirt, but I buried you knowing one day this winter will melt. One day Jesus will return, the curse will be over, and death and sorrow will be no more.

​I miss you, my sweet little feathered friend, but I'm thankful for the thirteen years we had together. You were an embodiment of hope and joy to me. I am sad, but my heart rejoices as I hear three new friends singing that same tune you sang to me on even the darkest days. It's just three times louder now.
Valerie and Emily


You are so welcome, Agape! Thanks for reading and for being an encouragement. May God bless you too!

Lauren Watt

Thanks for sharing this special part of your life, Lauren! I am already enjoying your blog. God bless you!


Leave a comment