Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Sudden, heartbreaking grief...

A few months ago, in a city I don't even remember, I was staring out of my hotel room window when a flock of large birds (I think sea gulls) flew by. There was a loud crash as one hit my window. I stepped closer to the window and saw all but one bird fly on.

The lone bird sat perched on a chimney directly across from me and appeared dazed. It would cock his head this way and that. I assumed it was trying to recover from hitting the window. I couldn't quit watching it, I just stood there staring. Suddenly, it flew down to the rooftop below me... at this point my nose was up against the window pane, waiting to see what the bird was doing.
He swooped down by a dead bird, apparently the one that had actually hit the window. He sat there for a moment, nudging the fallen bird, as if to try to revive it.

The grieved bird suddenly picked the fallen, dead bird up with its claws and flew off above the rooftops, towards the trees in the horizon, never dropping the dead bird even though they were the same size. I watched until they were out of sight.
I felt like I was watching a glimpse of grief that we don't normally see or even think of, in animals. The heartbroken bird couldn't leave his companion alone, even in death.
We aren't the only ones to know grief.

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