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My angel is gone

Community Member

Those of you who know me know that my two little birds and my partner are my world. My partner had a heart and lung transplant two years ago. His body is now rejecting those lungs and they have thrown every treatment at it they can, to no avail. His health is in steady decline, the lungs severely damaged. In all likelihood he will need another transplant. There is no guarantee of finding a suitable donor in time. We don't know how this will play out, how long he has left. That is cause enough for grief.


Throughout the many hospital stays this year, there have been a few scares and vet trips for our first-born little bird, Sir Pecks (not his real name). It took so long for them to even identify why he was unwell. His liver had become very enlarged and was causing him great discomfort. He was so sleepy all the time, was frantic about eating, he barely sang or preened any more. He was struggling to breathe. Our sweet, happy little bird, our child, who loved to sing at the top of his lungs right in our ears, who loved to play and bathe and pinch bits of our breakfast, is now gone. We feel so empty and lost and heartbroken to be without him. That in no way diminishes our love for his brother, of course, but our grief is so huge. It's hard to face each day, knowing he won't be there, screaming at us for attention and getting into everything. I miss him so much, and I am scared for my partner. I feel like my family is crumbling and I have no power to do anything about it. How do you live with grief like this?

35 Replies 35

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi BluesClues1,


I am so sorry to hear about your grief and my heart absolutely breaks for you. 


The pain can be unbearable and I'm glad that you have the support of Beyond Blue around you to hopefully feel a little less alone.


I'm going to keep my eye out on this thread because I'm not sure that I really have anything helpful to say.  From my own experience, sometimes it is a day by day or minute by minute.  Over time, the pain becomes easier to hold.


Do you have ways to take care of yourself during this time? Or kind things you can do while you are hurting so much?



Thanks, RT. Maybe you don't have advice, but your words are comforting, just knowing someone is listening I guess. It is certainly unbearable pain. I'm cycling between that and dissociating from my surroundings, it's surreal and disturbing. Taking it very much minute by minute at this stage, it's so fresh.


Admittedly I'm struggling a bit with self care at the moment. It's hard to want to do anything, other than be with Mr Feisty (not his real name), our remaining little bird. Holding onto that more than anything. As far as kind things go, it's just being with him, and my partner. Sir Pecks was so in-your-face and demanding, now there's this gulf where he isn't insisting on treats and baths and attention. Mr Feisty is so independent, he doesn't want that sort of attention at all, and he doesn't deserve to be treated like a surrogate for his brother instead of the perfect little bird that he is, but now I don't know where to put all this attention and love. I feel like a shell of a person without both my babies.



Community Member

Hi Blue,

Gee I just came across this by chance as I was trying to find my way around the new forums.  I'm so sorry you're having all this grief, your pet bird on top of your hubby being so sick... I once had a little pet budgie who was my dearest companion - he got sick and died and I buried him in the garden, in a lovely spot with a flowering plant above him - but I've never forgotten that little bird, and that was many years ago.  It's wonderful how a small creature like that can mean so much to us, and make such a difference in our lives.  I know I gave him the best life I could - he used to fly free inside, not stay in the cage - and I'm sure you have looked after your bird with care, love, food... I think grief and love are intertwined, we can't have love without making ourselves vulnerable to grief - it's the price we pay.  I do feel for you, and remember grief does ease over time, but at the moment I understand it's awful for you.

I don't know if this helps at all, but I do understand.  πŸ’•

Eagle Ray
Community Member

Dear BlueClues1

I’m so sorry you are going through this grief and the worrying place you are in in relation to your partner. I feel all I can do is offer love and support over this forum.


It’s very understandable you are dissociating at times as a way of coping with what would feel overwhelming. I wonder if it would help to find small things to focus or meditate on, such as a garden if you have one, or a candle or soft music. Perhaps things you can share with your partner that are calming and restful for him too. And you have Mr Feisty of course as you say.


Take care and sending you warm wishes πŸ™πŸ’•

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi again 

What a beautiful person you are, my wish is that you tell yourself that many times a day.


A harsh fact is, we have little control over life events like the one your partner is and has been facing. So is there any possible comfort ahead?


My philosophy is' we are on this earth to give love and help others. By caring for your bird you have given him the best life possible. The same for your partner. Hang onto that thought.




Just when you think all is well

You pick a daisy flower

Pick a petal for each of your woes

And count them by the hour


And when the daisy becomes a stem

Just like a city tower

You think you have so many problems

But not as many as that flower.....


That's an old poem of mine. OT was my way of coping by turning negative to positive and your greatest supporter of that move is you.  πŸ™‚



Hi Hanna,


Of course you haven't forgotten your little budgie. I think most people don't know just how beautiful the companionship of a bird can be. I love all animals, but there is something extra special about birds. We decided to have Sir Pecks cremated, to spread his ashes in the forest where he will be free, and we won't feel tied to this house and grieve anew if we have to move. Our birds are so central to our lives, they have made every difference. It is not an exaggeration to say Sir Pecks was all I lived for in the darkest time of my life, before I met my partner and before Mr Feisty came to me by surprise one day. Both birds were rescues my ex brought home, I raised them each from about a week old. I watched them grow and learn to run and fly and bathe, I watched their plumage change from baby to adult, and their dear stubby little tails grow long and beautiful. Sir Pecks was my constant companion for just shy of ten years, and my partner has been his dad for seven of those. You're right that being vulnerable to grief is the price we pay for love. I don't for a second regret opening myself up to Sir Pecks, he was perfect and such a huge source of joy. Still is, I don't like to think of him in the past tense. Like your budgie, our birds spend much of their time out of their cages - they love to fly around the house or explore on the floor. It's hard to see this grief easing, but connecting with memories of him being well and happy helps. Thank you for listening.



Hi Eagle Ray,


Thank you for your kind words, there is a lot to be said for the value of love and support.


You're right about the nature of dissociating, the mind protects us with these sorts of things. We do have a garden, and I have been out there a bit lately, digging up worms for Mr Feisty. He loves them. Funny you should mention candles, too - during one of my partner's earlier stays in hospital this year, before this period of renewed horror, I established a bit of a ritual of lighting a candle and reading a particular book in bed. My partner is involved in both of these activities (when he isn't in hospital). Music is a huge thing for us too - and for Mr Feisty, who will sing along softly. His song is special, he has always been a shy singer, unlike Sir Pecks who would sing out loud and proud, and often. We are encouraging him to sing, it is good for all of us.


Kind thoughts to you,



Hey Tony,


Thank you. I can't say I feel very beautiful or tell myself that at all. My partner is in full agreement with you, however.


You're not wrong that we have little control over any of this sort of stuff. Comfort is a slippery thing, sometimes I can see the positives, the good I have been able to give my sweet birds and my partner. Other times I just feel defeated and useless and in so much pain. As far as Sir Pecks goes, I can look my grief in the face and know it for the pure thing it is, born of love for our baby. It's the one time in my life I haven't fought against my tears or looked down upon them. Sir Pecks' life has meaning - it hurts because he matters, his presence matters and his absence matters. The hurt is proportionate to how deeply I love and value and miss him.


I'm glad writing poetry has been helpful to you in managing difficult times. Admittedly my negative to positive journey inevitably comes with sinking real hard, hitting the bottom and coming back up, I've never succeeded any other way. Not the stuff of inspiring poetry, more into Poe territory, but it's how my mind works, and it serves. Just trying to regulate the speed of my sinking this time, to something I can deal with.



My precious friend, to know such grief is cruel. I'm so sad to hear of of Sir Pecks passing, our beautiful boy, that I can barely see the computer screen. Compounded by LMs deteriorating health, I'm asking why!? How!? It's not fair!

I know, they're all the things you've felt and thought but so much more. 


I cannot believe the news about LM, it's so shocking, I'm so deeply sorry. 


I can't hold your hand IRL or visit and bring soup or make tea for us, I wish I could. 
Please hold your own hand and know people love and appreciate you as I do 100%. 

How do you live with grief like this? minute by minute and when that's too hard, second by second.
When you feel your soul crushed, breathe a big breath. 
When you feel all bent over with the weight of it all, stretch your head back and look to the blue sky. 


Know your beautiful boy loved you and you know love. 


I'm grateful you have the capacity to love this deeply, although it comes with the pain of feeling unimaginable loss and grief. The two are inextricably entwined. Yet we wouldn't have wanted life without that love and this can't be taken away. 


Rest in peace dear Sir Pecks,

Love EM