May 10, 2014


In one week, our lives can go from happy and fun, to sad.

It's simple how life is, and how balance is often achieved. If I feel one emotion at too high or two low of a pitch, I know that shortly I will feel its opposite. It helps me get through so many really challenging times, but it also reminds me during the really happy ones that the yin and yang of our lives often do balance out in ways that teach us to accept the hard times as part of this challenging journey.

One of our cherished 'pet' chickens disappeared. In our world disappeared is a euphemism for someone took, and or killed her. Neither is neither acceptable or ok right now. But both are understood.

Georgette, shown above, was the most colorful of the two chickens we have now lost  this past year, with not one single sign to tell us what has happened.

And while it's sad to even admit this, she was the most beautiful of all of the chickens we have had over the past 5 or 6 or 7 years and I have missed her terribly. Beauty does not intensify loss. I'm just sharing one of the things that we did love about her. We loved her markings the same way we love our children's face..each different and unique.

 I missed her little clutch companion, Gigi, as well..she was so funny and so unusual. But Georgette had the most engaging personality and always did her crazy little sideways race to me the moment she saw me outside,  or caught a glance of me through a window. Always. For me, chickens are closer to dogs as pets than any of my cats. If they are loved and hand fed, they become so attached to their humans in really cute and quirky ways.

So, I mourn my losses this week as I celebrate life's gains. Right now, the losses are above the balance point for our animals.  There is not one single feather to determine the cause of this loss, not one clue, not one bit of evidence and this is exactly how it was with her 'sister chicken' Gigi, when she disappeared not too very long ago, as well.

Oh, I do so love my chickens. I only wish if someone knew that their dog was killing our chickens (they would have brought them home to them) that they would just let us know. We would forgive and forget as that is often nature especially when a dog gets the taste of a chicken on the run. Once a dog catches or kills a chicken, if you live on a chicken ranch, you have to choose one or the other as that dog will always chase and kill.

We used to have ducks, and oh man, did I love our ducks!!!  They were killed by a farm dog that lived over 7 acres away and the owner, who believe it or not was a friend, laughed when I told her. As farmers, a dog was a dog, a duck was a duck, and a chicken was and is,  just a chicken. And often, when people know that their pet dog has attacked and brought home a chicken before..dead or alive, they don't want to tell you. But not knowing, as those friends who have lost family members, is often far worse than knowing.

And all of our animals become our loved ones....especially to big, soft hearted me who creates connections between all living things and find connections in all signs and symbols. It is one of my gifts that I use to help others, and one of the gifts that creates more pain because of so many connections, so many heartstrings acknowledged and understood.

I love with my whole heart even if  your 'just a chicken.' I'm not as sad as I am when its my beloved cats and dogs died..I wail like a banshee over their losses. I can literally scare my husband and send him running from the house. I feel it all as deeply as I can so I know all pain to help others with all pain. But the sadness of the loss of a our pets is a lump in my heart that will take a long while to ease. Its does knife the way a human loss does, it doesn't create the huge depression or the denials as deeply. But loss is still loss.

And I hope that both of my cherished girls' endings were quick as that is all we can hope for any one that we love.

Goodbye, sweet sweet Georgette. I miss you so much! And dear little 'road runner' are not forgotten, either, I loved you and I miss you, too!   Our only two 'young' chickens, the ones we hoped to have for a very long time.

So, it's not really about the survival of the fittest in the chicken world. These were the best, the brightest, and by far the fastest. So sad!

I know the tide of the universe will turn once again.  And I am so deeply grateful that my husband survived his stroke on the 16th. But loss is still loss of any kind.

Good times will replace the hard, the sad, and the bad. But it takes a while to get the sad out. And sharing loss, sharing pain, sharing our stories with others, helps me ans I hope your sharing helps you.

Many of you have lost beloved family this week. You have lost husbands, and wives, and mothers, and fathers, and yes, even children.

Many of you have lost beloved pets. And I am so deeply sorry for all of those losses.

 Love is matter who you love or how you feel and express it.

Loss is Loss...on all levels and in all stages of the heart and all levels and stages of our lives.

A chicken is not a dog, or a cat. A chicken is not a beloved family member or  potential family member.

But loss of any kind hurts, so my heart with its knowing and its experiencing of all kinds of loss goes out to you as you have shared and as you feel yours.

The tide will turn once again. The waves go in, the waves go out. Know that my heart knows, shares, and understands yours.

Across the Rainbow Bridge
my blog and poetry on pet loss

Michele Bilyeu blogs With Heart and Hands as she shares a quilting journey through her life in Salem, Oregon and Douglas, Alaska. Sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting, with small format art quilts, prayer flags, and comfort quilts for a variety of charitable programs. And best of all, sharing thousands of links to Free Quilt and Quilt Block Patterns and encouraging others to join her and make and donate quilts to charitable causes.   Help us change the world, one little quilt, art quilt, and prayer flag at a time!


paulette said...

I was so sorry to hear about your loss...sending a BIG hug your way, Michele!!

Karendianne said...

Oh Michele, this is sad. I'm sorry to hear of this. Like Paulette, I am sending a BIG hug your way.

Karen H said...

Michele - I am so sorry to hear about Georgette. I know how much it hurts to lose a creature you love.

SewCalGal said...

I agree with you 100%. Love is love and the loss hurts. Georgette was a beautiful lady and, as I remember, a sweetie pie. I will miss her too. But I do think Georgette knew she was loved. Not many chickens can probably say they were loved and part of such a wonderful family. Big hug,


Quilting Stories said...

I feel really sorry for your loss. Best regards.