Oh Budge. I am so sorry my selfishness let you suffer. There are parts of me that wish I had put you to sleep when our vet told me it would be best. I just couldn't do that to Lola and she was with you until the end, when you fell over she still preened you and tried to feed you. She loved you so much and she is just lost without your cheerful little face.
As you passed I took you from the cage you shared with her and held you in my shaking hands. Your beautiful feathers caught my tears as I held you close and apologized for the injustice your received in the early parts of your life before you came to me. I did the best I could by you. Bought you bigger cages and got you a lady to share the last of your life with. You two were so in love and it was comfort to me to watch your devotion to her. Never really into playing or eating anything healthy but what a man you were in protecting her and keeping her close. I wish you had been able to follow her lead and eat the mash and the pellets but I understand your reluctance. You were such a tough old guy and resistant to any sort of change.
You were rescued from the home of your first deceased owner. You had spent years in that back room as she lay dying. Your nails were long and curled into your feet and wasn't it just awful when I had to clip them? At least you could walk well then though, and things improved after that. I went and got Lola and you fell in love with something other than that bizarre plastic bird they had installed in your cage. It was just you two after that, always chattering and arguing and sharing that swing. I hope some day someone is as devoted to me as she was to you.
I miss you badly, baby boy. I wrapped your body in soft towels and put you in the freezer. I am reluctant to bury you in this rental and I am pretty tempted to either buy a large pot and a plant or take you somewhere you would love. Maybe Payne's Prairie or Blue Springs. Somewhere I can go to be close to you, at least in metaphor.
I saved another blue boy from lackluster living but he'll never replace you, if he makes it into the cage with Lola, I hope you know she's just applying the theory of "if you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with."
I think of you every single day and always will. You were the real deal. Prettiest bird I have ever seen. I will always miss you. You will never be forgotten.
Bye baby, I'll be looking for you on the other side--
Thanks so much for the wonderful heartfelt responses I have received from my tribute to Budge. It really made me feel better to read them. Posting about it was very cathartic and I think everyone should do it when a pet is lost. It has helped me move forward a bit.