Loss of a pet parrot: 6 tips to help you cope

We know the loss of a pet is not the nicest topic, but as much as we wish our parrots were immortal, all good things must eventually come to an end.

Parrots can have incredibly long lifespans, which means that we’ve got plenty of time to enjoy our feathered friends. However, the loss of a pet parrot after decades together can be extra difficult. Let’s discuss 6 things you can do to help you heal if your parrot has passed away.

1. Remember that the loss of a pet parrot can cause real grief

Our pets, including our parrots, are daily parts of our lives that we can become strongly emotionally connected to. That’s why it’s a pity that the loss of a pet is sometimes still seen as something to just ‘get over’ without taking the time to grieve.

It’s okay to be sad or have trouble coping. The fact that you’re grieving now is a testament to the amazing bond you had with your bird. And remember: grief has no timeline.

2. Work through feelings of guilt

It’s already hard enough when a pet parrot passes away due to old age: seeing them slowly decline can be very painful, but at least we know our feathered friend lived the fullest possible life.

It can be even worse when a parrot passes away unexpectedly. This especially applies in cases of an accident that may have been avoidable, like if your parrot escaped (in which case we’d also like to direct you to the article on what to do when a parrot escapes). You might also feel guilty about euthanasia.

It can be difficult, but it’s important to try not to blame yourself. You loved your pet and would have done what you could to prevent what happened, but life can throw things at you that you didn’t expect. Parrots especially are wildly accident-prone due to their curious nature.

3. Don’t ignore your feelings

When dealing with unpleasant emotions like sadness due to the loss of a pet, us humans have a tendency to stick our head in the sand.

Sure, sometimes you have to compartmentalize your feelings for a bit because life doesn’t stop, but it’s important to give that grief the chance to come out. Otherwise, you’ll just drag out the healing process.

How to cope with the loss of a pet parrot

4. Reach out

Also part of human nature is that we are extremely social beings (that’s why we keep tame birds in our house in the first place!). We analyze and solve both practical and emotional issues through interaction. What we’re trying to say here? Reach out!

If your family and friends are not understanding about your loss, don’t despair. You might find that people who also keep parrots are better at providing solace and advice. There are plenty of spaces out there on the internet; for one, you are absolutely welcome to share your loss in the Parrot Essentials Facebook Group.

5. Rituals & remembrance

The practice of holding a funeral has been present ever since humans first started roaming the earth. Every single culture out there has death rituals. There’s a reason for that: rituals like funerals can help greatly in giving death a place.

You might find it helpful to bury your parrot in your garden, have it cremated or to come up with some other type of ritual. It can also be soothing to print a nice photo of your late feathered friend or keep some other mementoes close.

6. Don’t forget your other pets

Unfortunately, as we noted before, the rest of our lives don’t stop just because we are grieving the loss of a pet. This especially applies if you have other pets.

Parrots are very social beings that can be affected by the loss of one of their flock mates, so while it can be hard, it’s important to do your best to maintain some normalcy and still provide plenty of attention. With a bit of luck, focusing on your other birds also helps provide some much-needed distraction and closeness.

Conclusion

If you’re currently going through the loss of a pet parrot, we are so sorry. Hopefully this article has provided some pointers on ways to deal with your grief. Feel free to leave a comment below to tell us about your late feathered friend!

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This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. I lost my angel, Maxie, a cockatiel on Thursday. Maxie never showed any signs of being ill but she just passed away. She was found in her cage when my husband came home from work. I wasn’t at home because I was in Florida. I feel so guilty about not being there because maybe I would have noticed some behavior change. Maxie was only eleven years old.
    I loved her so much and she truly was my best friend. I always promised her I would protect her forever and now feel that I let her down. I cannot stop crying and do not know how I will cope without her since she was with me a lot, on my shoulder or she would go under my hair and want me to pet her.
    I really do not know how to get over this grief and loss. My heart is broken. My husband feels the same, too, since she adored him.
    We are having her cremated and will get her ashes and the vet will give us a copy of her footprints which I will cherish forever.
    Please if anyone can give us some ways to deal with our tremendous loss I would appreciate it. Thank you

    1. Hi Camille,
      We are very sorry to hear about your loss. I tool lost a parrot many years ago and the experience very traumatic.
      Try to remember the good times look at pictures and talk about Maxie.
      Time is a great healer. Nothing will replace Maxie but time will reduce the pain.
      Anguel

  2. Thank you so much for writing this article. You’ve made me feel a bit less foolish about the grief I am feeling over my beloved bird, Nicodemus. Grieving cats and dogs is socially acceptable, but when it’s a bird – you’re right, just deal with it and move on. But it’s not that easy sadly. It’s still very raw because he passed away last week. I feel robbed of time together because he was only 14, I raised him as a hatchling since the age of 4 weeks. I carry a lot of guilt because I wish things turned out differently. But thank you for your article.

    1. Hi Joanna, thank you for sharing and I am sorry for your loss. Losing a parrot is never easy and only people who have had a companion parrot can understand the grief. It is very sad indeed and I speak from personal experience.
      Be strong. Anguel

  3. I had to have my 33 year old Myers parrot euthanized a few days ago.She had been making groaning noises.My avian vet diagnosed her to have a growth in her stomach.She was eating but not getting the nutrients she needed.i had to let her go.My pain is unbearable.She was my little companion and spent so much time with me.What can I do?I miss her so much.

    1. Hi Claudia,
      We are sorry for your loss. From personal experience there is very little you can do. Just take your time and remember all the good times you had with her.
      Thank you for sharing.
      Angel

  4. Hi,
    I lost my 14 month old lovebird? 3 days ago, due to an accident. I still can’t come to terms on how it happened. This was my first bird and never imagined the emotional bond we created in such a short time. Sunshine really was my sunshine and I am so lost, empty, sad, and angry

    at myself for not protecting him from being harmed. He was so curious, active, awnry, entertaining, with a one of a kind personality and attitude, just like, I am sure other pet owners will agree with their own. Birds are alot of work, but Sunshine was worth all the time and energy required in order to care for him. Everywhere I go in my house, I see him and everything reminds me of him. The day I lost him, I lost a piece of my heart that has his name on it, forever
    Never imagined I would love Sunshine as much aa I always will,
    hoping to meet him, along with all the other family pets, at Rainbow
    Bridge.
    Thank you for allowing me to post,
    knowing other bird lovers feel thoese overwhelming emotions, feeling like I won’t ever get over his loss.
    If anyone has any advice, please help me in making it through this.

    1. Dear Wendy,

      I am deeply sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved Sunshine. It’s clear that he was not just a pet, but a cherished member of your family. The bond we form with our animal companions is unique and strong, and it’s natural to feel a profound sense of grief when they pass away.

      Please know that it’s okay to feel angry, sad, and lost during this time. Each person’s grieving process is different, and it’s important to allow yourself to feel all the emotions that come with such a loss. It may help to remember the joyful times you shared with Sunshine and consider creating a small memorial or writing him a letter to say goodbye.

      Many find comfort in joining support groups for pet loss where you can share your feelings with others who understand what you’re going through. Additionally, some people find solace in reading books about pet loss or speaking to a counselor who specializes in grief.

      Remember to take care of yourself during this difficult time, and don’t hesitate to reach out to friends and family for support. If you ever wish to talk or have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

      With heartfelt sympathy,

      Anguel

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