My car was the safest place for the night, quiet and away from my cats. I settled it in its scarf-bed, brought water, and dragged myself home. It felt awful to wish for a death, and to know anything was so alone. But I was relieved when, the next morning, I found the bird had died during the night. Sobbing, I packed it up, drove to Prospect Park, and made a little resting place in the reeds.
This feels like a miniature adjustment to my history and sense of self. Taking on this helpless little life regardless of the emotional and practical challenge felt like a turning-to. I didn't stop crying (not for days), but I stopped looking for someone to save either of us or feeling like it was more than I could take. And since then I've felt a little stronger, a little more able to manage a strike to the core. The panic that I'll witness something too awful for words will probably always haunt me, but maybe I found a little more faith that I can exceed myself.