Updated: Apr 7, 2019
To witness a soul move from this world into the next is a great privilege. Whether it is the soul of a friend, a family member, a pet, a stranger, or even that of a wild animal, to be present at the moment a soul leaves its physical body and departs this world, is one of the most powerful experiences there is. Today, I had that privilege.
As I sat on a bench in the garden enjoying a hot cup of tea in the warm, spring sunshine this morning, there was an enormous thud. Startled, I quickly turned to my left and saw that a blackbird had flown at full speed into a windowpane on the conservatory and rebounded onto the ground below. My two Jack Russells darted towards the helpless little creature, but before their instincts could kick in, I lifted them both up and locked them securely out of sight in the kitchen. I returned to where the bird lay and could see she was at the very least stunned, and at worst, seriously injured. However, one thing I did know was that if I left her where she lay, she would certainly end up as a cat’s breakfast or perhaps even worse, a cat’s plaything. So I decided to pick her up and keep her safe.
I sat down, placing her carefully on my lap and began to visually examine her. Although, to the best of my knowledge, her wings, beak and posture appeared to look as they should, I could see a tiny speck of blood on the inside at the tip of her beak. Her eyes were tightly shut, her breathing too fast and too deep, and her little chest working too hard. As she lay on my lap I wished and prayed that she would recover and after what seemed an eternity, she slowly regained consciousness and her little brown eyes began to gently open. She cautiously raised her tiny head, titled it to one side and peered up at me. She must have still been stunned, but she didn’t appear to be afraid. In fact, her breathing began to slow slightly and she radiated a gentle calmness. Seeing her improvement raised my hopes in an instant. I was certain that her chances of making a recovery had just jumped tenfold.
In my mind I kept repeating to her, “Come on little bird, you can do it. Don’t give up.”
She certainly was a fighter. After fifteen minutes of resting there, she summoned all her strength and lifted herself to her feet. She slowly walked around my lap, appearing to survey her surroundings, trying to make sense of where she was and what had happened. But from her occasional stumbling, it was apparent that she was still extremely weak and probably in terrible shock.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw a large, black cat prowling slowly past us at the end of the garden. He stopped for one moment, glancing nonchalantly from the corner of his eye before continuing on his way towards the long grass in the cow field.
I whispered, “Don’t worry little bird, I’ll keep you safe.”
The logical part of me knew that the little bird couldn't comprehend a single word I was saying, but she seemed to respond to the tone of my voice and as if to signify that she understood, she pushed her back against me and rested her little beak in a fold on my t-shirt. She lay there for a while, gently breathing while I sent her healing and prayed so hard for her to spread her wings and fly away. To my delight, it seemed as if each time I did so, she would lift her head slightly, showing signs that she was indeed recovering.
We continued to sit there together peacefully for another ten minutes or so, when suddenly, her breathing changed. Each breath seemed to become ever more difficult and alarmingly, I noticed more blood appearing inside her beak. She turned her head and looked up at me knowingly. But I wasn’t prepared to give up on her and I didn’t want her to give up either.
“Come on little bird. You’ve fought so hard to give up now. You can do this.” I whispered to her.
As I spoke, she lifted her head. Her breathing was becoming laboured and her chest rattled with every long breath she took. As if to deliberately snap herself back into awareness and regain her senses, she shook her head vigorously from side to side. This seemed to have the desired effect. She stood up and gently started to open her wings, but as she did so this seemed to adversely affect her breathing which abruptly became even more challenging. With a look of defeat and exhaustion, the little blackbird slumped reluctantly back into my lap. She rested for a while, and tried this again several times, but each time she tried, her breathing became progressively worse and the rattling in her chest grew louder. She wasn’t panicking and didn’t appear to be distressed. She just glanced up at me, pushed herself against me and rested her little head on my t-shirt again.
It was at this point that something unexpected happened. As I watched her, I saw what appeared to be a vivid, indigo glow shining around her, spanning about 1.5 centimetres (just over half an inch) in all directions around her body. This vivid light seemed to gently pulsate and stretch outwards away from her body. As I continued to look at her, I was even more amazed to see patterns of white light streaming towards her body. The only way I could describe it would be to compare it to the movement of the iridescent surface of a bubble, except instead of vivid colours, the energy was black and white and instead of random swirls, the energy was made of small particles all moving in the same direction towards her. It was a two dimensional, roughly circular shape, extending about 15 centimetres (6 inches) around her. The little bird seemed to be the focus of the energy. It was all moving towards a point underneath her and she was at the centre of it.
"Perhaps this is a sign that she is receiving healing and she will be OK.", I thought to myself.
Encouraged by what I had just seen, once more, I wished that she would heal and recover. She lifted her head and shook it vigorously again, as if to shake her senses back to normality, but this time, her little chest rattled and I could see that she was hardly able to breathe. Her struggle continued for a minute or so until she could no longer fill her lungs at all. She stood up in one last desperate fight for survival, spreading her wings as if to take flight, frantically trying to find enough air to fill her lungs. But this was her last fight. Her head reached upwards, her beak wide open and with a series of short spasms, her little body released her soul and dropped helplessly back into my lap.
Suddenly, everything seemed to become silent around me. As her body lay there, still and lifeless, I felt completely overwhelmed with sadness. She was gone and nothing I had done had saved her.
Just then, I heard what must have been her husband landing on the roof of the shed above me and to my right. He looked down at us both with a big, juicy worm hanging from either side of his beak. I gently lifted her tiny body and placed her on the roof of the shed so he could see what had happened. I walked away and looked back and watched as he hopped over and sat close to her. He stayed at her side for a few moments, as if to say his last goodbyes, and after two to three minutes he hopped to the edge of the roof and flew away.
During the time that she lay on my lap, it felt as though we had shared a deep connection. To be present at the moment her spark of life left her tiny body and to share her last few moments was a great privilege, but a lump still remained in my throat. There were so many questions left unanswered.
‘What if I could have saved her?’, I asked myself. ‘What if I’d prayed harder or asked for healing louder? Maybe, I could have changed the outcome. Why couldn’t I save her? What else could I have done?’
For several hours afterwards, my sadness continued. But being unable to find any answers from my logical mind, I decided to ask the Universe to guide me instead.
Well, the answers I received weren’t quite what I had expected them to be. You see, from the moment she had flown into the pane of glass, her fate was sealed. Outward appearances indicated that apart from a speck of blood inside her beak, she was physically unharmed. But on the inside, as a result of the horrendous impact she had suffered, her fragile body was broken to pieces and her lungs were rapidly filling up with fluid. I didn’t know it at the time, but keeping her safe and calm was all that could have been done for her. In her last few moments, we shared a unique bond. Before she crossed over, I was the last physical being she saw. Unlike the cat at the bottom of the garden, or my two Jack Russells, I kept her safe. I held her and protected her from harm and allowed her to have peace in the last few minutes of her life.
But the most incredible thing that the little blackbird showed me, was that our bodies are nothing more than vessels, or force fields, that contain our souls. Many people see our bodies and our souls as two separate entities, but while we are on the Earth in our physical form, the two are inextricably linked. However, when our bodies, or force fields, are damaged beyond repair, they are no longer able to contain our souls. The stretching of light I had witnessed around her body was as a result of her force field breaking down and no longer being able to contain her beautiful, vibrant soul. The two dimensional circle of light around her body was the Universe itself, opening up to provide her with passage and welcome her into the next world.
With a gasp of air, the enormity of what I had just witnessed dawned on me. I held my breath while I tried to process the incredible event that had taken place. The little blackbird and I had shared a moment usually reserved as a private, personal transition to what awaits us when our physical bodies die. In that moment before she took her last breath, I had seen her soul begin to leave her body and prepare to make its journey through a gateway into the Universe itself. From my perspective it appeared to be a two dimensional circle of energy, but from the perspective of the little bird, this was a tunnel of light, leading her home. I could no longer contain my emotions. I cried and smiled and laughed with such an immense joy, it was unlike any feeling I had experienced before. I was completely overcome with joy, awe and wonder at what I had been privileged to be a part of. I was completely and utterly humbled by a little blackbird and this was a moment that would change my life forever. Finally it all made sense.
Many elderly and terminally ill people commonly report being visited by long deceased loved ones sometimes weeks, days or hours before they pass. This is the same process that the blackbird went through, but when people die of old age or a terminal illness, their bodies, or force fields, begin to shut down much more gradually. But just like the blackbird, their force fields are no longer able to contain their souls, and rather than taking thirty minutes, this process can be extended over a longer time. Slowly, as their body is no longer able to contain their soul, the line between this world and their next existence becomes more blurred, and awareness of a new reality grows, until eventually, their bodies can no longer contain their souls and they finally make their own journey home.
Although I hope I gave the little blackbird some comfort in her last moments of life, she was the one who gave me the greatest gift. Because of the random misfortune of a bird happening to fly into a glass window less than two metres (six feet) away from where I was sitting, I was able witness something truly incredible.
I am so grateful to that little blackbird. We shared a unique moment together that bridged the divide between our two species. We connected as souls of the same essence, rather than separate physical beings, and I was privileged to see something so fantastically beautiful and life changing, that I will never forget this moment, or that little bird, for as long as I live.
Even though I prayed and wished so hard for her to heal, there was nothing I could have done to physically heal her. But in the end, her release was the healing that both of us needed.
Today, I saw a little blackbird take her last flight home.
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