The little black birds. They follow me. Everywhere I go. They are at the beach, the school, the freeway, the park, our alfresco. They visit me when I hang out the washing. They tap on the fence and wag their tails at me. They appear when I think of Christian. My friend Teresa believes that these little birds carry the spirits of our little ones gone too soon. She told me this as we were walking in memory of our babies at one of the annual SIDS and Kids walks. These two little back birds had been following us. From that day forward the little black birds would always follow me. They are a connection to heaven, a hello, a kiss, a message from him. So today on our way home from the doctor’s surgery you can only imagine how I felt when one of these little birds flew out in font of my car. I hit it.
I gasped for air as I looked back at Scarlett. She asked me what had happened. I couldn’t answer her. I couldn’t tell her. But I could not leave this little bird on the side of the road knowing it may be injured at my hands. Scarlett has lived through the death of her baby brother, she could handle this. I took a u-turn and I explained to Scarlett that I had hit a bird. She told me that I would have to go and make sure she was okay. I told her that I thought she may have died and that whatever had happened we would take the bird home with us. I found the little bird, she was lying on her side. She was still alive but I knew that there was nothing I could do. I picked her tiny delicate body up in one of the baby blankets that we had with us and I brought her back to car. As we all sat in the car together the little black bird took her last breath in my hands. There was such a heavy silence. Little River asked “Did she die Mama?” I cried. Scarlett being the little healer that she is told me that it wasn’t my fault and that she was not hurting anymore. What a wise soul my daughter has. I gave the little bird to Scarlett to hold on the way home and we decided that we would wait for Dad to come home before we buried her.
Scarlett set up a place in our garden for a little memorial ceremony. She placed flowers and seashells around the bird and we lit some candles and placed them in lanterns that were hanging in the tree. Scarlett wrote the bird a letter apologizing that we had hit her. We said a prayer to the angels to come down and take the little bird to heaven and Scarlett broke down in tears. She didn’t want the bird to go to heaven. Oh my goodness, I felt so hopeless and then I did the most stupid thing I have possibly ever done as a parent. I was desperate to heal Scarlett’s hurting heart. I told her that the little bird would send us a sign in the morning that she was okay. Oh why did I do that?!!! It stopped her tears and she asked me what sort of sign the bird would send us. I dug myself a deeper hole by telling her that she would send us another little bird. Carly!! Anyway, that night as I lay in bed with Scarlett wrapped under my arm I started praying. Praying that Scarlett would forget what I had told her and that she would be magically healed.
In the morning, Scarlett woke me up. “Come on mum we have to look for the sign!” Oh no. Did she really just say that? We got up and I tried to distract her with breakfast. As I was packing her school lunch I heard her scream out from her bedroom. I went running into her room in a panic thinking she had fallen off her bunk bed but instead I found her talking to a little black bird who was sitting on her window sill. Really? Is this happening? It stayed for about a minute before it flew around to our alfresco area. She wagged her tail at us and danced around. The look in Scarlett’s eyes was of pure awe and wonder.”You were right mama, she did send us another bird to let us know she was okay”. I breathed a massive sigh of relief. Did the little black bird hear my desperation to heal my daughter’s broken heart? I don’t know, but to me this was a little miracle.