Last night, I found out that my budgie back home, Ozzie, passed away. He’d been with our family for 14 years and I doted on him more than people on Reddit dote on cats. My sister and parents buried him in the garden this morning.
One of the hardest things about living abroad is when there are deaths back home that you can’t be a part of. It hurts an unbelievable amount to be so far away and not be able to do anything. In a way it doesn’t even seem real; there’s no closure. The home I remember is a home with him in it, and will continue to be so until I get home many months from now and am met with the shock of the empty corner in which he used to live.
If there’s one thing I wish, it’s that I could have seen him, held him on my finger, one last time. I missed the last two years of his life and that makes me unspeakably sad. It’s a part of living abroad, but arguably the hardest part. Since this past October, my grandmother and three family friends have passed away. There’s nothing like the terror of leaving home and worrying that you’re seeing people for the last time, and nothing like the heartbreak of when that actually comes to pass.
So here’s to all the memories.
And here’s to my little grumpy green bird who would sing along to my Grimes, Gregory and the Hawk, and Alt-J CD’s, who would fly like a maniac from room to room squawking like the devil in church, who would preen my nose and give me kisses, who would put up with me kissing his belly even though it ruffled his dignified little feathers, who would pose long enough to let me paint him just because he loved to sit beside me. I’ll love you forever, Ozzie, my little sunshine bird. May you fly with the greatest freedom in parakeet heaven.