I accidentally killed our pet budgie

Johnathamilton

New member
Dec 23, 2021
4
6
Parrots
Violet
This message is a standalone posting of a response to Amber8904. (It was suggested that the response could be a stand alone post.) I have edited the original post to provide clarification where needed.
Just as a warning there is some content that could be triggering for some who have lost their bird to a traumatic incident. While it is intended to bear homage to a lovely little guy who changed my perception of birds and worked his way into my heart, it is also a stark warning on how things can go from wonderful to very wrong in a fraction of a second. Hopefully sharing this story will help others in similar situations to protect them from the guilt and grief that we are experiencing.

Last Saturday Dec. 15, I accidentally stepped on our family budgie, Violet ("Vi") resulting in a traumatic injury and death a few moments later in my daughter's hands.

He (yes, we misidentified his sex earlier on) was a birthday gift to my middle daughter 5 years ago when she was 13. She hand trained him and he became very tame. He started out as one of a pair of budgies, but when the other budgie died a few months after we received it he became a solo budgie and we were his flock. As a result he became integrated with our family and was in reality a vital member. We joked that he probably thought of himself as human! He was a precocious little guy, who would nibble on my neck (I work at home), sit on my computer monitors, and play in front of the mirrors with his "friends". I discovered early on that he loved spinach, to the point that he would climb over to the "feeding station when he heard me open the plastic spinach container. This trait would allow us to retrieve him when he accidentally flew away last year. He would sit on our shoulders when we walked around the house (which is how he escaped when my wife walked out onto the deck behind our house without realizing he was there! We retrieved him the next morning when my wife and youngest daughter walked under the tree where he had spent the night. He called to them using the chirp-chirp that he only used when calling us). He knew how to communicate his wants and would hear my daughter (his "mom") returning home even before I realized she was near the house. Every morning I would take the cover off his cage and feed him a few leaves of spinach. He would sing along with me when I played certain piano pieces such as Bach's Prelude in C major. He would joyfully bathe as water poured from the kitchen sink tap into my wife's cupped hands.

As a single budgie, and very social, he was fascinated by his reflection in shiny surfaces. Sadly this trait contributed to his demise. We have shiny bases on the stools in our kitchen and he would love to talk with the budgies in the reflection. Last Saturday morning (Dec. 15), he was on the floor in the kitchen while my daughter (now 18 and in 1st year nursing) was studying for her last exam. She said "be careful, Vi is on the floor". I turned to go up the stairs but ventured too close to the table base and he was spooked and skittered away from the base and under my shoe as I stepped down. He squawked at me, then flew to the kitchen sink, but unable to hold himself up flew to his cage where he was unable to stand and held himself there with his beak. We were terrified and my daughter knew from her medical knowledge that his state was dire. There were sobs and tears from all of us as he passed away in her hands moments later.
That afternoon, we buried our little buddy in the back yard beside our mint patch.
We have cleaned and removed his cage to the basement while we grieve. The house is silent without him and we are ever mindful of his absence.
I have been unable to concentrate on my work and go to sleep each night racked by sadness and guilt. My family are kind and don't blame me for his death as it truly was an accident and we can all point to ways that it could have been avoided. But the fact remains that he is dead and this beautiful intelligent little creature is gone forever. Death is a horrible thing - there is no Hollywood ending. So we soldier on, working through the grief of losing our little buddy, wanting to get a new one, but knowing that really we just want a return of the little guy.

So for those who have experienced a similar tragedy, please don't beat yourself up about your accident. We know that we live with these little fragile creatures and those of us who are blessed to know and live with them, have learned that we are only co-tenants on this planet earth with other animals. We can't prevent every accident, but hopefully we can learn from our own mistakes and those of others to make our homes a safe as possible for our little friends.
We have had the privilege of living with and bonding with them, which is a precious gift. But it comes at a price, because when they die, we also are wounded by that loss - more so when some action on our part, however innocent, results in their premature death. But we do go on, and this loss can motivate us to rise to greater things as we use the grief and consciousness of their value to seek to help other animals who need our help and to share our awareness of the preciousness of the life of our co-inhabitants in a world that seeks to put a dollar value on it.

Thank you to all who have bravely posted before me. I hope your healing process is progressing well. And to those who follow, even though your heart is breaking, it will mend, and you will be left with the happy memories of your feathered friends.

John
 

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Ria.345

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Jun 23, 2021
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New York City
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Sun Conure and Umbrella Cockatoo
My deepest condolences for your precious baby’s passing! I was moved by your post and am glad to hear your positive outlook on this whole situation. And it’s great to know that he lived a good life where he was very much loved and protected. Not everyone can give that but you did and that’s all that matters. I do hope however that you spent a great Christmas with each other despite this unfortunate loss. Just keep your heads up and move forward with a positive mindset. Remember all the good memories you’ve had with the little guy and one day, you’ll be smiling just from the thought of him. Goodnight and have a wonderful night and happy new year!
 

LaManuka

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Welcome to the forums to you and yours John, but I'm so very sorry that you are going through this. So many of us here have suffered, or *almost* suffered, a similar type of accident, me included, and we understand how deeply it hurts. That little Violet was such a beautiful, happy and vibrant little soul just makes it that much harder to bear and you have my every sympathy for this. It is obvious how much he was cared for and that you gave him a wonderful home - I think Violet would be the first to say he knew exactly how much you all loved him and that he knows you never intended to do him any harm. My most sincere condolences and many feathered hugs go out to you and your family, John. I hope that perhaps one day, when the time is right, you will be able to give another little birdie a place in your home and your hearts, because you sound like wonderful parronts to me ❤️

Godspeed to the Rainbow Bridge, precious little Violet, until we all meet again. 🙏
 
OP
Johnathamilton

Johnathamilton

New member
Dec 23, 2021
4
6
Parrots
Violet
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #4
My deepest condolences for your precious baby’s passing! I was moved by your post and am glad to hear your positive outlook on this whole situation. And it’s great to know that he lived a good life where he was very much loved and protected. Not everyone can give that but you did and that’s all that matters. I do hope however that you spent a great Christmas with each other despite this unfortunate loss. Just keep your heads up and move forward with a positive mindset. Remember all the good memories you’ve had with the little guy and one day, you’ll be smiling just from the thought of him. Goodnight and have a wonderful night and happy new year!
Thank you for your kind words.
 

Scott

Supporting Member
Aug 21, 2010
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San Diego, California USA, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy
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Goffins: Gabby, Abby, Squeaky, Peanut, Popcorn / Citron: Alice / Eclectus: Angel /Timneh Grey: ET / Blue Fronted Amazon: Gonzo /

RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
I'm so sorry for your loss of Vi, my heartfelt condolences. Your poignant testimonial validates Vi's life had beautiful meaning and impact. May his bright memories console you while grieving a tragic, accidental passing.
 
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Johnathamilton

Johnathamilton

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Dec 23, 2021
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6
Parrots
Violet
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #6
Thank you everyone for your kind words and support. It's been 9 days and while I'm still sad, the sorrow is no longer overwhelming. It is a complicated grief and grief is unique to the situation of the loss. Even though I'm sad, at least I'm back to functioning. I will always remember our little guy and the time he spent with us, including memories of my now grown up daughter playing with him as she was growing up. When the time is right, we will get another bird.
 

kme3388

Well-known member
Sep 17, 2021
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Minnesota, USA
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Eclectus Parrot: Nico (male)
Jenday Conure: Kiwi (female)
Welcome to the parrot forum, and I am so sorry for your loss. There is a lot of support on here, and many others that have, and are going through similar situations (not that it makes it better, or easier). What's more is you may help someone else greive that is going through this similar situation. It's heartbreaking, and our parrots truly are our family. I would say Nico my ekkie is my best friend. Yes, I have human friends. I do adore my human friends, but Nico just puts a smile on my face that nothing, or no one else can. He is my shadow!
 

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