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Cannot forgive myself for killing

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 33 total)
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  • #39162
    Gary
    Participant

    I killed a bird. It was given to me by someone who had found the baby bird apparently abondoned. It was very small and appeared weak. I managed to find a way to feed it, water it, cared for and loved it. As it grew I taught it to fly and it warmed to me as its ‘Mother’. When It was nearing time for release it flew into the ceiling fan, was knocked and killed. I had switched the ceiling fan on. Unthinking. I had killed it. I am unable to handle the guilt.

    #39182
    Helen
    Participant

    Oh dear, I would be gutted as well. But look, you took care of it the best way you knew how. So don’t feel guilty. You did not kill it. Don’t drag yourself down, even though it must be very hard. Much strength to you!

    #39191
    Matt
    Participant

    Gary,

    That bird’s death was a very small point on a long timeline of events. Consider that instead of being alone and malnourished as it died, it was tenderly cared for, loved, fed and respected before it died. It had a good life, and no life seems long enough to those of us who love. Consider that you’re dwelling on your mistake, rather than the love you shared.

    This is normal for the grieving process, and its fine to be sad. Just try to remember that it was your heart that made its last moments freedom and flight, rather than hunger and solitude. Perhaps you could honor how that bird came into your life by continuing on your journey where you give love and nourishment to other living beings.

    With warmth,
    Matt

    #39205
    Barbara
    Participant

    Oh Garry

    I really feel your pain. The minute I read your post i felt so sad for you, as I know that must have been awful for you. I absolutely love animals also, and you clearly do too. You gave this bird lots of love, care, and attention, and in your tone, the sorrow is so clear. Im sure the bird had such a happy time as you nurtured it, and looked after it.

    It was an accident, and you would never intentionally do that. That was the farthest thing from your mind.

    Make peace with yourself, and as Matt said, you obviously have a lovley heart, and all living things need our love. Perhaps just by continuing this path of caring for living things, you are blessing the bird’s memory.

    Try your best to let the sorrow go, as much as you can, and be nice to yourself.

    Best Wishes,
    Barbara.

    #39211
    Gary
    Participant

    Thank You Helen, but I just cannot seem to balance what I know to have been the right thing to do with what I feel I did to end its life. It’s last few seconds were cradled in my loving hands, but that really isn’t helping me right now.
    Bless,
    Gary

    #39212
    Gary
    Participant

    Hello Matt,

    Your words are kind and, I know they are ‘right’. Right in the sense of being logical. But its death was no ‘small point’ to the bird, it was its everything. And its life is no less precious than anyone else’s. Unfortunately knowing what is right, sensible, just isn’t cutting it with my feelings. Yes, it’s last few seconds were held in my hands, being loved. But that really isn’t helping me much right now.
    Thank You.
    Gary

    #39213
    Gary
    Participant

    Barbara, I just cannot do it. I lie awake, hearing the accident as it happened, racing for him on the floor, picking him up so quickly yet gently, feeling his trembling. A few seconds later he convulsed then.. he was still, and I knew. I’m really not handling this at all.
    Thank You, but this is truly awful.
    Gary

    #39220
    David Goettsch
    Participant

    Gary, I know it is hard, but you are stuck in what I like to call the “Human condition”. It was a horrible accident and I would be very sad as well, but you need to take a step back from your situation. In nature, death is just another part of life, its the attachments we give to things that makes parting so painful. Your bird friend was lovingly cared for when he probably wouldn’t have made it, and he got to build another connection he wouldn’t have had. Animals don’t handle death like we do, his “spirit” has already let go and moved on, and you need to as well. The idea of permanence is something that causes a great deal of pain and depression in us humans, and we need to keep constant perspective that death is just another state of being, neither good nor bad. He wouldn’t want you to be worrying about him and feeling bad, so do the best you can to move forward and at the very least don’t place any blame on yourself.

    By the way, i’m not just speaking from no experience here, I am a police officer and in my job duties I have to deal with injured and sick animals, and sometimes it means ending their suffering. It is the part of my job I hate the most, but I keep perspective that I am helping the cycle of life, and ending the animals misery. It never makes it any easier, but at least it helps me move forward.

    Just realize it was his time, and move on the best you can.

    -Dave
    http://personal-growth-project.com/

    #39223
    Matt
    Participant

    Gary,

    Its actually quite contrary to logic, which is perhaps why you reject it. The bird’s energy is far more than its one life, and the death was a very, very small point. Sometimes we cling to our pain, because we feel it is the only way to honor our friends or our loss. This is not the case. We do best to honor the lives of those we love when we remember the totality of their life and what they meant to us. To collapse their entire life’s meaning into one moment of loss is a far greater tragedy.

    Namaste, and I wish you well tidings within your mourning.

    With warmth,
    Matt

    #39234
    Gary
    Participant

    Would it have hurt some vast eternal plan if he could have lived for just a little while longer. A season maybe. What harm could a birds life have done that it had to be cut short. And why did it have to be at my hand that he died. Why could he not not have died peacefully in his sleep. What wrong did he do that he had to die so violently.
    I have no wish to be argumentative with you kind people. None at all. But I do need answers.

    #39235
    Matt
    Participant

    Gary,

    Consider that the nurturing you gave it was its extra time. Its normal for our faith to be shaken by painful events. The big picture doesn’t really help the pain, just the clinging.

    The problem with answering your question directly is that it could push your view into nihilism or eternalism, neither of which are correct or helpful. The energy of the bird was like water, its body like a bucket. When the bucket ceases, the water rejoins the river… it is only when we fear that the bucket is the water that we fall into a view where there is a permanent loss upon death. The death of the bird was not its loss, it was yours. All of that hope and love you gave it is rebounding into your heart and mind producing confusion and pain. Namaste.

    With warmth,
    Matt

    #39246
    Gary
    Participant

    I am sorry Matt, but whilst I fully respect these views are right for you – I am finding problems accepting them for me.
    When I buried the bird, in its secret place, I dug with my bare hands. I didn’t have to do it that way, but I wanted it to hurt. But it didn’t hurt. Maybe I was too numb.
    Wrapped in tissue paper it was sprinkled with my tears and I go back there everyday to tell it how sorry I am. That I kil.led it. Because I did. And there is no escape from that.

    #39247
    John
    Participant

    “I fed it”, “I cared for it”, “I taught it to fly”, “I killed it,” “I buried it,” “I dug with my bare hands”

    You know what, to be honest, this sounds like a lot of ego and self-centeredness.

    You are not the center of universe. You don’t give it life and you didn’t take it away. That bird had a will of it’s own and, through your guilt, you are disavowing that bird’s life and existence.

    Part of acting out of goodwill and compassion means acknowledging that other beings (birds or people) are responsible for their own lives.

    You’re not here to save the world. You can try to nurture, guide, care for, empathize, but the moment you cross the line into guilt for something that was completely not within your control (i.e. where the bird flies), you insult that bird’s free will and it’s right to go where it pleases.

    You didn’t point a gun to the birds head and pull a trigger. This wasn’t premeditated murder.

    If I was the bird, at first I’d tell you not to beat yourself up and forgive you because it was an accident.

    But now, I’d tell you to drop it. Because really, it’s a little ego-centric to think that you have that much responsibility.

    #39260
    Christina
    Participant

    Gary I understand your feeling. Once I’ve run over a cat. I’m a cat lady…It was an incident, not wanted at all. But It happened. I was even driving so so slow. Because I live in a farm, I used to deal with animals life. I tried sometimes to help little birds without parents…and trust me, you did a miracle. Your bird survived because of your cure. Something that never happened to me 🙁
    What happened is just an incident. It’s not your fault. it wasn’t intentional and you cannot torture yourself like this. You did your best.
    Sometimes I think about the cat I’ve run over…and it makes me feel bad but I remind myself that it was an incident. Tell yourself the same.

    #39263
    Gary
    Participant

    Yes John, that is right. I did all those things. Nobody else. So yes, this is all about me. There is no one else to share my guilt. And no one has to live with it except me.
    Of course the bird had its full free will to fly where it liked. Which was wonderful. But it didn’t have the choice to run the fan at 95 rpm. That was my choice John. I decided that. Yes, that’s right. Me – Just me. And I am trying to cope with the consequences of my actions, not the birds.. This is my grief John. Not yours. And you must forgive me if I am not prepred to share it with you.

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