Wednesday, August 8, 2012

No One Should Die Alone

 I grew up in Florida. The parts I remember are usually associated with the beach. One thing that was always part of the beach was the seagulls. Their antics and begging for food could be funnier than any domesticated cat or dog and I remember laughing and chasing them for better parts of a day. (or were they chasing me for my snacks?) It is a fond childhood memory and to be honest, I don't have many of those. Today, I had the extremely unfortunate and sad experience of seeing a seagull hit by a car. Now, we don't have a "sea" here per se and I'm sure that they call them something different in Montana, but to me they will always be seagulls. But I digress. So I saw this seagull get hit and as my husband was driving past through a rather large intersection, I saw the seagull still moving. So I made my husband pull over and I got out of the car and walked back to the intersection to pick up this poor seagull because he was still moving, but couldn't really seem to get up or move himself off the road. At this point, I was honestly hoping that it was just a broken wing and that he would be fixed up in no time and begging for my snacks while pooping on my car. As I walked up to him, he was sort of quietly calling out and he was really struggling to get off the road. It was hot, the high was 99 today, and he was on asphalt. I'm sure he was getting toasted the longer he was there. I couldn't very well leave him there to get run over by a car, so I picked him up as gingerly as I possibly could. I definitely didn't want to cause him more pain. I cradled him against my chest and he kept looking up at me and doing that quiet calling sound. It was heartbreaking. I felt so helpless. By the time I got him to the car and got settled in it, I knew I couldn't save him. He had blood around his mouth and his breathing was very labored. Still, I made my husband call vets. He was on the second call when the seagull cried one last time and then laid his head on my chest and died. I will admit that I have not cried that hard in a really really long time. I can't even remember the last time. It was sincerely one of the most saddest things I've ever personally experienced. I find myself going back to earlier in the day and I just hope and pray that he knew I was trying to help him and that he took some comfort in dying in the arms of someone who cared instead of on that hot street surrounded by cars whizzing by. Regardless, I'm glad we stopped. I'm glad he didn't have to die alone in the middle of a road. I'm glad that I was able to hold him and try to love him and talk to him gently. I'm glad I heard his last words, even if I couldn't understand them. I firmly believe that no animal and no person should ever have to die alone. I'm convinced that there should be someone there to hold them closely, offer them love, take some of the fear away, and listen to their last words because they may truly be important to them. Though I wish the outcome would have been different, I would do it all over again because at that moment in time, it was all I could give to him. I'd like to think that I made his passing easier. I'd like to think I took some of the fear away. I'd like to think that he knew I was trying to help him and that he knew I loved him. Now I hope he's flying around some wonderful beach with the perfect weather and the perfect friendly seagulls to keep him company. That's how I will remember him, like in the picture below. Because, even if he was in Montana, he represented something different to me. Tonight I will go to sleep praying for the seagull that I was permitted to comfort and hold for mere minutes. I hope he hears the prayers and I hope he's in a better place. Thank you for listening. It won't always be a sad story. I have to say he's the first one I've lost and I've rescued plenty.       

All photos were borrowed from Please be sure to visit their blog for more about seagulls! 

1 comment:

Yvonne said...

I understand why you did it and I understand how this could make the cry harder. I cried myself while reading your beautiful post.