Death. Such an odd, unwelcome invasion that creeps in on the most unsuspecting days. And lingers. Heavily. Heart-achingly. Exhaustingly. There.
I hate finality. Where there’s never a chance to recuperate past events or memories. Because those moments are forever gone. Robbed all too quickly. Too permanently.
I lost Pippin on Tuesday. My ten-year-old pet parakeet. My ten-year-old little buddy. Such a weird day. I immediately broke down when Alejandro told me the news. All it took was a shake of his head after peeking inside his cage that told me Pippin was gone. Gone. Never to bound out his cage to ring his bell. Never to purr under my nose as we snuggle. Never to chirp again from across the room. And my heart broke. Then and there.
What I didn’t expect to come was an insight into death I have rarely seen. I’ve experienced people in my life dying–all of my grandparents are gone to heaven. And while their deaths were entirely sad, I didn’t live each day with them until they left. Meaning, I felt their loss in my day-to-day life in subtle ways. Yet, when Pippin died, it was almost a new kind of death–one that slapped me in the face and reminded me life at home will never be the same.
And that’s when inspiration–however tragic a time it was–hit. Death comes on unsuspecting days. On days when you’re about to make pancakes in your pajamas. Ready to enjoy a day off with your husband. Death settles in like a stain on your carpet. That while the source may be gone, its not-so-subtle residue reminds you of its nasty cause. Our home felt an odd emptiness. Quietness. Eeriness. And yet, moments throughout the day felt normal. Distraction is an amazing thing. I laughed. I smiled. I enjoyed time with family. Because in those moments, I’d forgotten.
And then the memory would slap me in the face again; force tears to blur my eyes.
It only makes sense that writers take moments like these and use them to power their work. I’m trying. It’s the only way I can say a proper goodbye to my dear, feathered friend.