The Hummingbird

Granny's favourite bird was the hummingbird.

Just after her death, we started getting "flocks" of hummingbirds around the house. They didn't come in flocks, but there were tons of individual hummingbirds that flitted around our house, almost every minute of every day.

When we went to Craggy Gardens to spread her ashes, a hummingbird came and literally hovered face-to-face with Aunt Tudi. It comforted her in a way none of us ever could. Both of us believed it was Granny's spirit telling us that she was okay.

Aunt Tudi's favourite bird was the Carolina Chickadee, which very often came around our home, especially in the Winter time. This is the second season after her death, and I haven't seen one chickadee. They used frequent our home, and particularly loved the Witch Tree (contorted filbert). I haven't seen one chickadee since her death. I think I would have found comfort in seeing a chickadee just like Aunt Tudi was comforted in the hummingbirds that seemed to gravitate to her.

There has been nothing. I have had no sign whatsoever that Aunt Tudi's spirit is anywhere around me, is watching over me in someway. That's one of many reasons I question the existence of any higher power now. My faith in signs and portents of any sort may well be so deep, I may never recover it. My bear totem seems ridiculous to believe in. The owl spirit I have long honoured and adored seems irretrievable. Any sort of message from the natural world around me is lost on me, I don't see or hear proof of existence.

Perhaps I could have healed just a little if I had been given any sign that her spirit lives on, but I haven't. It sort of makes you think that upon death, there's nothing. Absolutely nothing. And part of me wants to believe in that, because nothing is better than every moment of your life is bereft of hope or meaning.
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The hummingbird came to Aunt Tudi. Perhaps the chickadees have gone to her too.

I know what it is like when the meaning drains from things. But I also know it is there, waiting, when we find ourselves again.