It was a wonderful time six years ago when some of the peacocks from our neighbors decided to wonder over to our property. They settled in and hung out around our buildings each day. I thought it was wonderful to have the presence of birds so regal and gracious.
One day some contractors had arrived on site to do some flooring. At the end of the day there seemed to be some loud noises going on at the front of the building. My son went out there to see what the disturbance was and he caught one of the workman who had captured one of our peacocks and was trying to stuff it into the back of his van. We were stunned and you can guess the contractors were never allowed to return. After that peacock incident, security was order of the day. We came to love our resident peacocks and check on them like pets.
Elegance and peace reigned and of course the peacocks who strutted the lawns were being secretly fed by staff and clients even though both were in complete denial. Hank however was the leader of the troop. He had the longest plumes and a proud confident courage. Slowly over the years each of the peacocks disappeared one by one. We were never quite sure what happened to them. Finally, Hank was on his own, but he ruled the Brookhaven Family with dignity for years. Without warning, Hank left the property to go back to his original home next door. We felt numbly devastated, deciding he must have become depressed and had gone to find a mate. He kept sitting in the road that ran along side both properties. The word came three days later that Hank had been run over.
I was frozen with disbelief and shock. I was so sure he would just come back. But he didn't come back. Who could run over a peacock? The staff was in mourning for weeks and some still are. Even though it is has been a year since he left us, I miss Hank everyday. I had greatly underestimated what he meant and brought to all of us. He had become an institution in his own right. We had taken him for granted. I don't know how long I will feel this grief for him. I sometimes still get up to go and look for him. The logic tells me I should not feel this about a wild bird and I should move on. It really doesn't matter what my head tells me because my heart says something different. My heart has hurt for him. Just don't tell me to get over it or that I have had enough time to let it go. There is no measurement that can say when grief will be tolerable.
There are no rules for grief and loss or for learning how to cope and manage the new situation. Of course the ultimate loss is losing a person, either through death, divorce, or disease. Any of these can bring about depression and an emotional coma in the person being left. Many other things cause the feelings of extreme grief and depression too, losing a loved pet, losing a business, a job, a house, a reputation, a dream, a goal, or your identity.
If you have something to grieve about write about it or just talk about it until there is finally nothing more to say. Time is the healer of grief. I am now ready to go find another bird pal. I will keep you posted. There will be more peacocks back on the lawns at Brookhaven Retreat.