First we were stunned.
Then we were sad.
That was a tough morning for everybody. Poor Brett had the job of taking care of his little feathered remains and stashing his cage in the garage. I pulled my parts together and did my best to comfort the wailing and howling, little girls as we got ready for church. Dear Aaron sat, hunched over his dot-to-dot book, sniffling. Later on it was my turn to cry and my kiddos sniffled with me.
"It's okay, Mommy."
Our first loss to experience as a family.
We're better now. The kids have stopped lamenting the loss of Petey. Lydia hasn't said, "Mommy, Petey not moving. He not has his eyes open," in several days. His place on the bookcase has begun to accumulate the odds and ends that empty spaces seem to attract. I've gotten used to not hearing him scratching around in his food tray. But every now and then, it still catches my heart.
Just the other day, I was putting together a burrito sans tortilla for lunch. As I spooned some brown rice into the bottom of the bowl, I told myself, "Don't forget to set some of that aside for Petey." gasp.
Last week I had the windows open, airing out some of our germs, and I heard the birds singing in the trees outside. Instinctively, I turned to where his cage used to be and said, "Do you hear that? ..." sigh.
Recently, Ashley walked into my room and declared, "I miss Petey." sniff.
Me, too, Sweetie. Me, too.
It's good to let our hearts feel. And it's good to sit with others as they gasp and sigh and sniff.
It's not easy. But it's good.
"Lord, please clothe my children
with the virtue of compassion."