Today I buried a bird. I have never buried anything before, let alone a living creature. The bird was carefully placed in the ground, wrapped in a white shroud. We covered him with a stone, and when the earth covered his little body, we placed more stones on his burial site. He was a loved bird, and so we chose a hill side to bury him in. When we were done my friend turned and said “he can now fly free”, no longer in his cage.
He meant something to her, and it was important to her that we do this properly. There was no ceremony or fuss, just dignity. His death was accidental and brutal. When we found him, he had a gash across his neck. It was obvious he had been attacked. He lay on his side, lifeless, songless. There was no dignity in his attack, but we gave gim at least that when we took him to the hill. His final resting place.
When I picked him up, I felt nothing. When I buried him I felt nothing. When I walked away I felt nothing. Life ebbing away, destroyed, stolen, ending, means nothing. I felt that way not because it was a bird, but because death to me means nothing. People, animals, things all come and go. Everything ends. It doesn’t scare me or sadden me. It just is. The only thing it I ask of death is for it to be dignified.