For many of us with dogs, we’ve already known the unbearable sense of loss when faced with the passing of a pup. For others who are sharing their love with their first dog, the sorrow is too painful to even contemplate. Perhaps it was the weight of grief that drove an anonymous poet to pen The Rainbow Bridge, a prose poem written in the 1980’s to help all of us manage the unmanageable. To see in words, what we know in our hearts.
The Beginning Of The Rainbow Bridge.
Just where the idea of the Rainbow Bridge comes from is not fully understood. Some believe the idea came from the Norse legend of Bifrost. Bifrost is described as the Rainbow Bridge that connects the world of the gods to the world of humanity. The Rainbow Bridge connects this world to the next. With a rich green meadow for a dog to roam content, healthy, and free.
The origins behind this piece of prose aren’t well known. Since the poem began spreading around pet circles in the 80’s, at least three men have taken credit for penning the prose poem. Paul Dahm, a grief counselor in Oregon, was said to have written it in 1981. William Britton wrote and published Legend of Rainbow Bridge in 1994. The last contender is Wallace Sife, head of the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement, whose poem All Pets Go to Heaven is on the association’s website. Whoever the author may be, the person gave words to the place we long to know about, the place where our families are reunited.
Sharing Our Life. And Our Love.
Dogs aren’t called our “best friends” because they are passive observers in your life. Your furbaby is a companion, sounding board, the provider of emotional support, a partner in crime, nap buddy, dinner date, a loyal greeter when you return home from work, and that’s only naming a few characteristics of your pup. A dog’s love is pure and unending. Unconditional. When we lose a loved one, a massive void is left.
No two people grieve the same way. The process is personal and unique to the individual. However, this poem has been passed amongst animal lovers for more than thirty years because it resonates and gives something to mourners. The Rainbow Bridge is the place of peace and serenity that cares for your dog when they are no longer able to be cared for on this earth.
The Rainbow Bridge.
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
If you can’t have your dog by your side in this life, what would you dream for your beloved pet? The Rainbow Bridge is where your dog has been restored to the effervescent and vivacious animal in the prime of her life.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
There is no pain. No suffering. There is peace after a life well-lived.
When the pain of losing your dog overwhelms daily life, the words from the Bridge bring comfort. The words help us visualize where our dog has gone when we are no longer able to care for him. Playing with other pups with no restraints of illness or age to restrict him.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
And as the poem comes to a close, you are taken to the most powerful place. You are shown the most joyous moment when you and your pup are brought back together after being apart.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together…
Together Again. Over The Rainbow Bridge.
…and with that luminous parting, you remember the connection that you made in this world with your dog will not cease in this lifetime. The bond between you and your pet will not be put on hold or broken. Time apart does not diminish your love. It lives on for the remainder of your days until you are reunited with your love on the Rainbow Bridge. For many of us, the Rainbow Bridge is much more than a destination. It’s a special place in our mind, in our hearts, where we will always be together with the doggy we love.
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