Of life, loss and the coming of awareness

Hi Folks,

We are but dust however, while we are here on earth we have a chance to shine like stars. Before and after that we are absorbed back into the universe.

I find myself watching elderly people. Where once they were invisible they have just “blipped” onto my radar screen. I am aware…

With every grey hair, wrinkle, ache and pain that slowly descends I am aware…

Bernard and Manny our Javanese finches when we first bought them about 5 years ago

Bernard and Manny our Javanese finches when we first bought them about 5 years ago

Today the last of our Javanese finches died. They were adult when we purchased them and we had them for 5 years. Manny, the female, died earlier this year and today we uncovered Bernard to see that he had died as well. Although Manny was as animated as Bernard she didn’t have his feisty character. Bernard was a rock god. Bernard would sing his heart out whenever Steve would crank up his amps and play loudly. He would sing whenever Steve tuned in to MTV and the only band that Bernard wasn’t fond of was Gun’s and Roses for some reason known only to him.

Bernard's sarcophagus

Bernard’s sarcophagus

Today we buried Bernard in a guitar string box. His tiny 20g body nestled carefully in between hay that we had put on the base of his cage over the last few weeks because he couldn’t manage to fly up to his perches. We did what we could…we watched…we were aware…

Today another star twinkled out and turned to dust. We buried him down in Steve’s maple garden. At first I wanted to send him out on a tiny raft burning and blazing like a beacon into the Tamar River to give him a Viking send-off…always, as ever, dramatic

If the truth be known Bernard would rather be down in the garden that he saw in his peripheral vision. The Viking funeral is my desire for one last final hurrah…Bernard is gone and we are aware…

How can something 20g make so much difference to our lives? I am not sure, but Mr Duncan MacDougall, a noted Boston scientist, theorised that the weight of a human soul is 21g. Bernard ate a lot in his last few days on earth. I would like to think he was aiming for gold.

Today we had another moment to remind us that our time here is fleeting. Today awareness touched us and we watched a tiny spark falter and wink out of existence. Today we dug a hole, we buried a small insignificant box and we covered it with soil and grass and patted it down. Almost the same but not quite, 21g of pure soul is buried in that hole. Aretha Franklin, eat your heart out. Bernard is singing with the greats tonight perched on the end of Jimi Hendrix’s guitar 🙂

Bernard in a sunbeam. Aside from a nice splash in a water bowl and a beak full of sunflower seeds this was Bernard's favourite place to be

Bernard in a sunbeam. Aside from a nice splash in a water bowl and a beak full of sunflower seeds this was Bernard’s favourite place to be

36 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. christiglover
    Oct 15, 2013 @ 13:34:11

    Oh, an exquisite eulogy, so perfect as it spreads its wings to enclose all of us. We are aware. Stardust Bernard, over and out. I love you guys.


    • narf77
      Oct 15, 2013 @ 15:33:55

      Loves ya right back Christi and Bernard is winging his way to the end of Jimi Hendrix guitar as I type this. His little lungs will be puffed up tonight with such illustrious company (and no-one from Guns and Roses to spoil the concert 😉 )


  2. cathyandchucky
    Oct 15, 2013 @ 17:56:36

    Oh poor little Bernard! I didn’t know that Manny had died as well. I think I feel more bereft the smaller the animal is that dies. I howled when Tag died nestled against my chest. I dread the day that Squiggy and Pip (budgerigars) pass away. I hope Steve plays him out on his guitar.


    • narf77
      Oct 16, 2013 @ 03:33:30

      The most amazing thing was that we haven’t seen a sparrow or a little bird in months. The sparrows have been dying off from some disease apparently and the 4 little stalwarts that we used to have coming up to the deck to pinch Bernard’s seed disappeared but after we buried Bernard down in Steve’s weeping maple garden we looked out and saw that the sparrows, the green-eyes, a willy wagtail and a few striated pardalotes (dad WOULD be pleased 😉 ) all frolicking about like crazy in the bird bath/water bowls right next to where he was buried. I would like to think that Bernard’s “ancestors” came to take him home 🙂


      • cathyandchucky
        Oct 16, 2013 @ 10:19:08

        Oh that’s lovely Fronkiii. Maybe the ghost of Manny came to take Bernard away and all the little birds came to sing him on 🙂 . I hope there isn’t a serious avian disease down there killing off the little birds.

      • narf77
        Oct 16, 2013 @ 16:51:24

        There was talk of salmonella being spread in bird baths but that was just talk apparently and there was some disease but it was only affecting the sparrows. Some people might say “good riddance!” but not fronkiii, I love all of the little birds 🙂

      • cathyandchucky
        Oct 16, 2013 @ 23:24:40

        Maybe giving the birdbath a weekly or fortnightly scrub with dilute bleach could help?

      • narf77
        Oct 17, 2013 @ 04:26:13

        Yeah, we always scrub them out every time we fill them in summer but a lot of people don’t apparently (dad for one but he HATED sparrows 😉 ). The survivors will be super sparrows!

      • cathyandchucky
        Oct 17, 2013 @ 10:52:13

        Yes they will. Have the cicadas come out to sing yet?

      • narf77
        Oct 17, 2013 @ 12:31:19

        We might get the odd one or two this year but they operate on 4 year cycles and so this years grubs are still babies…give them 3 years and they will be just about ready to burst into song 😉

  3. brymnsons
    Oct 15, 2013 @ 18:58:43

    Farewell Bernard. He was a cute little guy. And the beat goes on …..


  4. Littlesundog
    Oct 16, 2013 @ 01:19:06

    What loving and beautiful words in dedication to Bernard. Fly free little friend!


  5. Spy Garden
    Oct 16, 2013 @ 05:57:56

    Very nice obit. I love birds.


  6. teawithhazel
    Oct 16, 2013 @ 07:52:35

    oh..vale bernard..

    i have a birdbath in my front garden and a couple of magpies do their daily ablutions in it and drink from it..often in that order..and out the back i have a huge chinese pot that the wattle birds dive into for a spruce up..i always know they’re about even if i’m inside because they make a loud ‘click click’ sound with their beaks when they’re drying off..if i don’t see them regularly i miss them..x


    • narf77
      Oct 16, 2013 @ 16:48:05

      We have wattle birds here as well. The only thing we don’t have are noisy minor birds and magpies for some reason (along with starlings but that might not be a bad thing 😉 ). I love the birds and we have 3 bird baths for them.


  7. rabidlittlehippy
    Oct 16, 2013 @ 08:28:10

    Sleep well Bernard. Beautiful eulogy Narf. Beautiful.


  8. dwayland
    Oct 17, 2013 @ 04:22:26

    I recently had to say goodbye to my turtles. They didn’t pass away, they just got too big for me to care for any longer. A difficult and heart wrenching decision. But, they will be better off. Your words about your beloved birds bring me back to how wonderful our pets are and how they improve our lives tremendously, even though their lives may be so short. As I’m on the computer now, my kitty is in the chair beside me, curled up and asleep. Happy. Thanks for the post.


    • narf77
      Oct 17, 2013 @ 04:42:30

      I am with you there Deb. Pets are natures reminder that we are all in this together and that no matter how “wild” something is, we breath the same air and we all share the same space (although sometimes its good to have walls in between us! 😉 ). Sorry about your turtles.


  9. thecontentedcrafter
    Oct 17, 2013 @ 04:40:50

    Hi Narf, I followed you over here from Christi’s blog where we commented about the same time and I loved what you had to say 🙂 This is a beautiful memorial post and I am touched – and so glad I found you! I shall look forward to reading more from you, Pauline


    • narf77
      Oct 17, 2013 @ 04:51:03

      Hi Pauline and welcome to Serendipity Farm on the far flung island of Tasmania Australia :). Glad you liked my post. Bernard deserved to be given his own post. For a tiny little bird he always had a song to sing and the loungeroom might be cleaner now (he threw seeds for a living) but it feels so much emptier and 20g of bird sure leaves a large vacuum when they have been so “alive”. So glad you have decided to tag along for the ride. I can’t promise it will be easy. My muses tend to force me to post long, winding posts but hey, my dear constant readers seem to hang in there ;). Feel free to drop on by whenever you need a cuppa and a short novel (post) to read ;). Have a great evening/day, not entirely sure what time it is where you live but it is 4.50am here 🙂


      • thecontentedcrafter
        Oct 17, 2013 @ 05:03:16

        I’m in New Zealand – just a hop, skip and jump away but already 7 am here 🙂 Have a great day!

      • narf77
        Oct 17, 2013 @ 05:07:46

        Do you follow gardeningkiwi at all? Sarah is amazing and grows all of her own veggies for her family whilst sharing a wonderful life ethos :). Glad we are on the same side of the trough ;). Practically neighbours to be honest but I am not all that good at swimming 😉

      • thecontentedcrafter
        Oct 17, 2013 @ 05:10:54

        Me neither – but hey, blogging pals is just as great! I’ll have a look at gardeningkiwi – thanks for the heads up 🙂

      • narf77
        Oct 17, 2013 @ 05:14:33

        I love to share the blogging love around and its always great to find excellent blogs where you live :).

  10. quarteracrelifestyle
    Oct 17, 2013 @ 06:24:03

    Oh, that’s a shame!! 😦


  11. Chica Andaluza
    Oct 22, 2013 @ 09:44:43

    Poor little Bernard. I know it’s the circle of live, but it’s sad isn’t it? We had a pair of collared doves in our garden in Bexhill and I found one dead 2 days ago. I felt so sad for the one that’s left…


    • narf77
      Oct 22, 2013 @ 13:01:15

      When Manny died (Bernards chick) he seemed to be alright but he never sang much any more which was sad because his singing was so HUGE. For 21g that little ball of feathers and attitude could certainly fill a room with sound. We almost bought him some “friends” but then we thought that it might be worse for him…sometimes it’s hard to know what to do when someone or something dies and it’s just easier to do nothing. I don’t think Bernard was lonely as he was in the lounge watching horror videos (his favourite pastime) with Steve every night and right up to the end he was feisty. I guess when your time comes, it comes…the end and the ones that are left have to pick up and get on with it.


      • Chica Andaluza
        Oct 23, 2013 @ 03:37:25

        So true, maybe it’s selfish to feel sad, but then I think that just shows we are loving and caring people.

      • narf77
        Oct 23, 2013 @ 03:53:29

        I agree…since when is it selfish to feel sad?!!! Bollocks to that. If I am sad, I am not going to be shoving it down inside my chakra to fester I am going to be one of those women in sackcloth wailing and decorating my head with ashes. I reserve the right to “feel” appropriately at any given situation and would be suspicious of someone who wasn’t.

      • Chica Andaluza
        Oct 23, 2013 @ 04:03:54

        Hear hear!

  12. Sincerely, Emily
    Oct 22, 2013 @ 11:01:17

    Bernard and Manny can now sing together again. Beautiful tribute to them. E


    • narf77
      Oct 22, 2013 @ 13:02:58

      🙂 Cheers Emily. Bernard certainly left a much bigger hole in our lives than we would have thought. I keep going to talk to him and Steve used to watch horror movies with him till late most nights and whenever the scary music would come on, Bernard would sing. You never know how 21g of enthusiastic song can affect you till it’s not there any more. The bookcase we replaced his cage with just isn’t the same.


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