It’s wonderful to imagine that there is more to our lives with our beloved animals than the time we share with them here. Because that time is never long enough. And when they go, do we really ever get over losing them?
I don’t. And I suspect I’m not the only one.
We learn to live without them because we absolutely have to, but that can take a while. A long while. It hurts like few other things do. Yes, your grief is real, and it’s valid. You. Don’t ever let anybody tell you that you don’t have a natural right to grieve all of your loves. For however long you need to grieve.
Sorrow is a process, not a one-time event. It’s a road we walk. A journey, with plenty of rest stops.
If you can be patient with yourself, and speak kindly to your yourself, it will be a tiny bit easier. Try to find at least one person who understands your hurt, then tell them what’s going on. Being understood is vitally important. It will ache a little less when you don’t have to explain or apologize.
Most of all, believe with all your might that you are not alone in your odyssey of grief. Millions of people have grieved and hurt as you do. We endure it, in spite of ourselves. Time will gentle it down, some of the sting will go, and maybe — just maybe — you will find yourself believing in a place you’ve never seen.
A place full of creaturely souls restored to their original health and vigor, at play and at peace. The happiest possible place for people like you and me.
Is The Rainbow Bridge real? Is it a metaphor for something even better? I don’t know. I only know that humans need something to hang our burdens and broken hearts on. Something encouraging, beautiful and full of promise. Well, I need that. So I’m allowing for the magical possibility that something this wonderful is out there, waiting.
And my special somebodies are waiting for me.
It’s not a place you’ll find on Google maps. Probably not Google Earth, either. My guess is the closest any of us gets to The Rainbow Bridge in this lifetime is in our dreams. So keep dreaming. Don’t let fear steal your dreams. There is something bigger than fear, my friends, and that thing is LOVE.
Dedicated with special affection to Lilly, Bella, Frances, Dodger, Denby, Miss Mary, Izzy, Roscoe, Dewey, Sadie, Kitten Girl and Kitten Boy.
Wherever they are is heaven indeed.