The final farewell

IMG_2062First I want to say thank you to all of you have expressed your sorrow and sent your hugs in the last couple of days. It has meant more to me than I can ever express. Chevvy, Charlie and Jackie are all taking very great care of me.

On Tuesday I buried Crash close to the house so that he will never feel alone.

A friend was kind enough to drive me to our vet in Tauranga to pick him up and bring him home. They had wrapped him in a lovely patterned towel and placed a blue flower in with him. Celia took me for some food on the way home. And we both raised a glass of wine to toast my sweet boy. She was kind enough to ask if I wanted her to stay and help with burying Crash, but I said no…this was really something I wanted to do alone.

After finding a box suitable I added some toweling and went and picked a bunch of lavender sage leaves from a plant Marianne gave me when she visited last year.

2014-05-01 10.02.33Their smell is beautiful and soft so I lined the box with them and laid Crash on top.

I replaced the blue flower [which is now by his photo] with a bunch of the lavender sage flowers

2014-05-01 10.02.49and some brilliant red hibiscus flowers from the garden to make a blanket for him.

SAM_0108.1I knew the spot I wanted to lay him to rest. Not only is it close to the house, but it has a very serene feel to it.

2014-05-01 10.06.13
Crash rests under these palms next to the small bush.

I talked to him a lot during this whole process. Told him I loved him, I missed him. Laughed about his silly antics, and how much I missed the sound of him throughout the house. I cried…a lot. As I filled in his resting place I said goodbye to Crash with this poem.

Invocation ~ by Rod McKuen

It may happen
that in some hidden
middle night

you’ll rise up
and come to me
in solitude or silence.

We will meet
as we have met
on a train or at the end
of some new train of thought.





112 thoughts on “The final farewell”

  1. Oh I’m so sorry for your loss… (and sorry I missed the post)

    Crash was absolutely stunning, and you gave him a wonderful life. He’ll always be with you, and I think his body’s final resting place is simply perfect, and a lovely place where you can still go and talk to him.

    Sweet dreams, beautiful Crash – fly free.

    1. Thank you Cathy. He was a very stunning boy. The place I laid him is just outside the window in my lounge where he loved to sit and look out at the sky. Now I like to think he is flying high and free.

  2. Dear Crash, you did well by him, Jo, I’m glad he’s close by – when you have a bond like that they never really leave, you know. Hugs.

    1. Thank you. I think we were lucky to have each other. I do remember the good times a lot. Last night my son and I were talking about something silly Crash used to do. He had a set of hanging rings near one of his perches. He would put his head through the bottom one, then back through the next and so on. The he would lay back while still gripping the perch. The first time Den saw him do that he yelled: “Mum look…he’s a suicide bird.” After that every time Den came home he would go up and say: “Hi there suicide bird.” It became a standing joke. We laughed together about that last night.

    1. Thanks Izaak…it has. I still have moments where I seem overwhelmed with sadness, but I just give in to it, have a good cry, cuddle the fur babies…then get up and go for a walk and remember that life is also about loss. The fur babies, the sun and this beautiful place I live in are all very soothing.

  3. Dear Jo, I am so sorry for your loss. Losing a pet, a friend, is so hard. Your burial preparations for Crash were lovely with the flower blankets, and putting him in a place close to the house. I’m sending you hugs from way over here, but I know it reaches that far.

  4. I’m so sorry, Jo. :( *Hugs* No words can make it better or take away the pain, but he had a great life with you and the other fur-babies. A lot of animals never get lucky enough to know the kind of love you gave him. I think you found a beautiful spot for him, and the flower blanket and softness around him were perfect.

    1. Thanks Corina. He did have a good life. The vet was lovely and made a point of telling me that with his probable underlying health issues that had I not been his guardian that he most likely would have not lived this long. She made a big point of what great general condition he was in…even with him obviously being so sick. That helped a lot. Doing this for him helped a lot as well.

    1. I am so sorry I made you cry. I did not mean to do that. I just had a great need to share what Crash was to me, what losing him meant, and what burying him this way did to help with the process. Actually airing my feelings about Crash being sick and dying, and then having to lay him to rest has really helped me through it all.

      1. I absolutely LOVED your telling us how you buried him; it was incredibly moving. People who are practical and sensible (in their terms) would laugh scornfully and say “For heaven’s sake ! – for a BIRD ?” and I would punch them in the face and say over their recumbent bodies, “No: for a friend I loved, DICKFACE !”.

        1. I like the way you think. When he got sick one person suggested I should have knocked him on the head to save myself a vet bill. Needless to say THAT person has been crossed off the ‘friend’ list.

          1. Good GRIEF ! Some people are … words fail. Crash will be there in your heart, and out there in the garden, and his little spirit will fly about in your dreams.

          2. It’s good, Jo. It helps enormously. In fact, it’s really the only thing that does … Cry away, m’dear; your tears are entirely justified.

  5. You chose a lovely, serene spot to lay him to rest Jo; he will always be close. I did the same when we lost one of our dogs – put her underneath the arch of a giesha girl hedge that I could see from the kitchen window. It was comforting for me.

    1. It is a comfort Crash being there. It is right outside the window he used to sit in front of looking out to the sky. I like to think that now he is able to fly free in the sky…and imagine I see him when I look out that same window.

          1. Of course they are – and how welcome their cuddles must be now it’s getting cold … it is getting cold isn’t it? Overnight the temperature dropped from 22 when I went to bed around 1, to 13 when I got up at 7 – maximum forecast 22 and down to 7 overnight tonight. I’m up for wintry stews, I think, without my fur babies, who’re lavishing love on Moonyean’s dad, who fell and broke his wrist during the week.

          2. It was down to 5 this morning. Soon it will be time to light the fire again. Rain is coming in tomorrow so I will have to make sure Chevvy and I get in a nice long walk today. A friend is coming over tonight and we plan to make a nice vege curry and watch old movies…always a good thing on a cold night. Do you get many updates on your girls ? You must miss them terribly. I was so in awe how you found them a good home and did what was in their best interests, it must have been so hard to give them up.

          3. I’ve been blessed with Moonyean and her family – she sends updates every couple of months, with photos – just enough to let me know they’re ok, but not so often that they are with me all the time, because, of course, I still miss them with a physical ache and letting go is proving very difficult. Knowing they’re ok – thriving, really, is a bit of a hit to my ego, but soooo reassuring. Have a lovely weekend with your non-fury friend Jo, and a great walk (along the beach?) with Chevvy. :)

          4. Letting go would be a huge task Meredith. I admire you for it. I understand the ego part. I will have a nice weekend. The sun is shining and Chevvy and I will walk around the river after lunch. That walk always lightens my load, whatever mood I am in. Now I just have to plan dinner. I found a recipe for ‘poached egg moist orange cakes’ that I was thinking of trying. Wish me luck.

  6. OH Jo, I have had tears gently rolling down my face as I read about your final farewell to a very sweet boy. I know how much your animal family means to you.

    How the lavender sage has grown! It is clearly suited with where you planted it :) I can only imagine how beautiful the scent must be. A perfect blanket for your Angel in disguise :)

    BIG HUGS to you, Jo. xxx

    1. Thanks Marianne. It really was the perfect blanket to cover Crash in. the aroma is beautiful, it is soft and it is sweet. You are right…the fur/feather babies mean the world to me so losing Crash has been very hard. But doing it all for him was also a way of doing it for me. I needed to care for him right to the end.

  7. your writing about Crash is wonderful Jo, awakening people to the life of animals and birds, just as valuable as our own lives, yet so often overlooked and devalued … how precious your dear Crash was and is, bless him and you, for all you are teaching us, lots of love Jo, and what a sumptuous and fragrant final resting place you gave him!

    1. Thank you Christine. What you said means a lot to me. It was so important to me to make it right for my beautiful wee boy. Doing it actually really helped me a lot. I felt like I was doing the right thing by Crash. That was so important to me. To make our ending as special as it could be. You are so right…their value is so often overlooked. Crash did and always will make my life that little bit better because he was in it. I miss him so much.

    1. Thanks Sylvia. It was hard…still is at moments. That poem gives me so much comfort…it just seemed right to tell it to Crash at that moment.

  8. I know Crash feels safe and happy to be close to you. Beautiful post, Jo. My sweet Mackenzie died last April, I’m still in tears when I think of her.

    1. So sorry to hear that Amy. It takes a long time to get past the tears. I lost a beautiful heart back in 2004 when my darling Tia left after 17 years with me. It took years to be able to think of her without tears flowing.

  9. I am so sorry Jo. I have not been good at keeping up with blogs and had no idea of what had been happening. As you say, they take a big part of us. When they die it hurts in direct proportion to how much we have loved them. xx

    1. Thanks Isobel. The hurt is very raw at the moment. You will know what I mean because of Cat. And it seems all engulfing at times. I really loved that wee little soul. I miss him terribly.

      1. It’s an actual physical pain isn’t it. I remember it as a knife in my heart. Time does heal eventually. The hardest bit is non animal lovers looking at you blankly in your grief with no hint of empathy of understanding. Keep safe from them.

        1. That is hard, dealing with non animal lovers. Even some who profess to love animals, but seem to consider a bird something less. I had one idiot [forever scratched off the friend’s list now] actually say I should have knocked Crash on the head to save myself a vet bill. I’d forgotten how much your heart can actually hurt. And it is hard at times…to see joy in anything.

          1. I sometimes wonder if we are descended from different species; one that sees animals as commodities and another who feels empathy and affection for them.

          2. It is such an odd conception to me. How can any sentient being be ever considered a commodity to use and abuse. Luckily today in NZ we struck a blow for some section of animal testing. The idiots in parliament a while ago legalised certain pot substitutes. And they had to be tested on animals. This morning they have changed that and any substance tested on animals will not be allowed here. Though why the hell we need legal highs is beyond me. They have caused so many mental health issues it really is mind boggling.

          3. Yes. The ‘it’s just a rat/cat/dog/rabbit doesn’t wash.
            But so many people seem indifferent. I got MasterB via Gumtree. Since then, I read that pets advertised there for free to good homes often end up as bait for fighting dogs. Horrendous.

          4. Oh God. We have a thing going on here where homes are being targeted with different coloured paint…meaning big/medium/small dog. They are being then stolen from people’s yards. Last week a ute drove in to one woman’s yard trying to get her dog. The police do nothing. Luckily she chased them off.

          5. So true. And apparently they are getting very clever. These days they hold the dog fights in the backs of rolling trucks and send the video out via satellite [which people pay big money to watch]. That way is is almost impossible to track them down and find them. :(

  10. A sweet and touching good-bye to Crash. I know how difficult it must have been to go through the process of burying him.
    This post could have been written by my hubby who put together a similar burial ceremony , with flowers, blankets and a rosary, for our fur son cat Marshmellow who had been his constant companion for 24 years. He felt he needed to do the process alone too. He buried him near a banana tree on our property. He passed on in his arms. He misses him to this day and it’s been a year.
    Our hearts still overflow with the love that he gave us. I pray you will find peace in knowing you loved Crash with your whole heart.
    Namaste …. <3 xo

    1. Thank you Izzy. I know the peace will come and I will remember Crash with a smile and not tears. The rawness of losing him will ease, I know that all this takes time.

  11. I just found your blog and read about Crash. I am so sorry for your loss. These precious lives are with us for such a short time but they will always live on in our hearts. Wishing comfort for you at this time.

        1. It does. I just talk about him when I feel like it. Look at his photos. I wallow when I want, and then that seems to help me get back out of the blue feeling.

          1. I still have a photo of Holly on my desktop and a few around the apartment. I didn’t get rid of everything and lucky I didn’t since little Willow came along. I wasn’t ready for a new pet, but she did make it a little less lonely. Don’t get me wrong I am glad we have Willow, but there was a special connection with Holly and I.

          2. Sometimes there is just something special…my Tia was like that. I adore Chevvy, but Tia was unlike any other dog I have ever [and I think will ever] know.

  12. What a lovely way to say goodbye to your beloved friend Crash. Closure is so important in the grieving stage and he will always be near to you.

    1. Thanks PP. I really needed to do that all for him. It helped me a lot on the day. Loads of tears, a very sore heart but that is all part of it.

  13. What a beautiful poem Jo. I know Crash will just love it. He was one lucky sweetheart to have you in his life as well. What a lovely farewell. You are in my thoughts sweetness. ♥ Big Hugs ♥

    1. Thanks Sofia. It has been a hard few days without him. I am trying to get out of the house as much as possible. Being out with nature helps. And everyday I go and talk to him for a while. That helps.

  14. Dear Jo, Ages since we last chatted. I am so sorry for your loss. We lost our Green Cheeked Conure years ago, and I still miss him so much, so I understand just how much that tiny creature means! Bless you, and may the memories of his antics and habits bring you much comfort and joy. x

    1. Lovely to see you here again. My memories of Crash are helping a lot. Those tiny wee souls sure have a way of taking over a piece of your heart.

  15. Too touchingly sad but what a lovely description of your gathering the lavender to put in the box for your dear little Crash. I am sorry for your loss and know you miss him terribly.

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