African lovebirds update: Big Bird has been quiet for days. And quiet is not something we’re used to in this household ever since the birds came to live with us. For several days, no peep from Big Bird. She slept most of the time, was not responsive, and seemed on the verge of death-by-loneliness (bird term for suicide due to emotional causes).

All this time, we didn’t know Medium Bird had died; he did it in the privacy of their home-box.

Last night, Big Bird slept inside the home-box. This morning, we found Medium Bird’s remains. It was a beautiful goodbye for Big Bird. I wonder what things she had said to Medium Bird during the night, what things I would’ve said had I been in her place. I wonder how it would feel to pour your heart to someone who cannot possibly hear you anymore, who is physically there but spiritually gone, whose body has to be taken away when morning comes but until then you can’t let go. I wonder what I would say if I knew I only had a few more moments before dealing with the reality of death.

This morning, we said goodbye at last to Medium Bird. And because Big Bird looked like she was about to follow Medium Bird to birdie heaven any moment soon, we got her a new partner who looks exactly like Medium Bird: yellow, with a red face. He seems very game, is now currently exploring the cage and the branches; hasn’t discovered the swing yet.

The moment he came out of the box and started chirping, Big Bird came alive. She is now giving him a tour and showing him how cool the branches are and what stunts you could do with them. I checked in on them when they suddenly went silent, worried someone might have died again. But nothing to fear: when they aren’t chirping, that only means they’re necking.

We’ll call him New Bird from now on.