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Great is the Matter of Birth and Death

I moved to the Farm the first week of August and already both my pets are gone.

Kiwi, the conure, was found dead in her cage August 17. She was 15 and had been with me for around 10 years. She should have lived another 10.

Beloved Chichi was also 14-15; had been with us and me for 6 years. Chichi was very much on his last legs, with numerous health problems, but was better in the last week having just finished a course of antibiotics for his bad teeth. Midday Monday he disappeared. He didn't come in when people he'd been following did, though the door was left open.

I came in for lunch and to check in on him. He was nowhere. My heart sank. Five of us searched all over the farmyard and near fields for hours. I wept as I searched. Chichi and Kiwi, but Chichi especially, were living links to my past life, to my deceased wife who left this lifetime four and half years ago. Chichi was her comfort and defender in her last two years, and a great comfort and buddy to me in the years that followed.

I feel responsible for not watching out for him better, for not demanding that he not be left out by himself. But I did not say this. I kept an eye on him. I saw that he didn't go very far and that everybody else was watching out for him too. I believe he liked his new freedom on the farm. We always walked without a leash.

He was old, he had pain, and I expected I might have to make end of life decisions for him before too long. As much as I wasn't looking happily forward to that, this isn't how I wanted it to be! The sudden death with out the closure is indeed hard. There are dangers on the farm and more than I understood, he would be a target for predators, for the hawks or coyote that are around even midday. Other things may have happened to him. He may have even had it his way, walking off to die, to be done with this crazy change, that was so big and different for a little old guy. Then good for him.

And I have to let go of woulda, coulda, shoulda, and be present with this (horrible) experience . This great matter of life goes on regardless.

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Achala, What a beautiful tribute to Kiwi and Chichi. My sincere condolences on your loss.

- hwasan

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