We had an early Christmas celebration yesterday afternoon at my parents’ place with my aunts, uncles, cousins, and their families from my dad’s side of the family. It was good seeing everyone again. Some of them I only see once a year.
When we got home, my wife went upstairs to change and then called me because one of our cockatiels was lying dead in the bottom of the cage. Both King and Queenie are pretty old. Cockatiels only live for about 15 years and that’s about how old Queenie was. We got her shortly after we got married 15 years ago. King is probably about a year younger so he’s an old man too. Well, "J," our 10 year old daughter took it hard. She cried and cried. Later she said she was worried that if she like this to the loss of a pet bird, how would she handle it if she lost one of her parents or grandparents?
I have to admit, I don’t get how people get so emotionally attached to pets. I’m not unfeeling or emotionally cold but losing my pet cockatiel of nearly 15 years didn’t make me particularly sad. I feel for people who do take the loss of a pet hard, as I did for my daughter. My wife did most of the consoling but I plan to tell "J" that it’s okay to be sad, and when she eventually does lose a grandparent or a parent (hopefully not for a very long time) she’ll feel even more sadness and it will last a long time. I serve a church with many old people and I’ve done a lot of funerals in my 3½ years here (31). Now she’ll have, in a small way, an idea of what they’re going through.
I’m not looking forward to when King goes.