After 25 Years, Elderly Woman Tells Grieving Parrot 'I Love You' One Last Time


Grief is not an experience limited to humans. Those who have owned multiple dogs, or have had a family member pass away who owned a dog, know this to be true because they’ve seen it.

Animals form bonds with humans and other animals, and when a life is ended, they have to go through a period of adjustment just like we do.

Even between animals that might be natural enemies, losing a companion is tough: like in the case of the bulldog who grieved the loss of his guinea pig friend. There is a time where they will go off their food, wander around where their friend used to be, or just lie around all day.

It happens in the wild, too. Elephants are very protective of their own, and when one dies, they gather around and participate in what can only be described as mourning.

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It’s easy to recognize grief in furry friends: we’re more accustomed to them. But feathered friends grieve, too, and the longer they’ve known the person who passed on, the harder it is for them to readjust.

Parrots are notoriously smart animals, with African Grays being among the brightest. With a lifespan of around 50 years, they live as long as some people do.

Rehoming them can be very difficult, because they form strong attachments to their “flock,” even if that includes people, dogs, cats, or other regulars.

When someone disappears — either through passing away or just moving out — parrots can take that very hard, going off their food, acting violently toward themselves and other, and becoming listless and depressed.

According to Daily Mail, parrots top the list of animals who need actual anti-depressants to be able to move on after a traumatic experience. There are bird-safe versions of Prozac that get prescribed to particularly down birds.

All of that to say, parrots feel deeply, have strong connections with their owners, and need to be able to go through a lot of the same stages of recovery that people do.

Sinbad, an African Gray, had spent 25 years with his human. A video of their final good-bye has gone viral — watch out, you won’t get through this one without a few tears.

The video shows Sinbad gently resting on his owner’s arm as she lies propped up in a hospital bed. It is clear that she is beginning to fade, and Sinbad is very careful with her.

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If you’ve been around parrots, you know they can be unapologetically raucous and those beaks can be vicious if they want them to be. But Sinbad keeps looking at his owner, gingerly stepping across her stomach and onto her chest to get closer to her.

The woman filming prompts Sinbad’s owner to tell him she loves him one more time. As he listens to her, she whispers “I love you” to him several times.

It will probably take Sinbad some time to process his owner’s passing, but she clearly loved him, and he clearly loved her.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking