One of the most common euphemisms used for the death of a pet is 'crossing the rainbow bridge'. I must confess that I generally find this kind of imagery cloying. I had long been considering posting a blog about letting those of us with a more 'matter of fact' approach, do things our own way. The rainbow and angel imagery of pet loss can become rather cloying for some people.
But then I heard this 'pep talk' given by one of those motivation-slash-management experts. He was addressing a room full of veterinarians and related one of the most meaningful things he experienced in a veterinarian's office. It was after he and his wife has their beloved ailing old dog euthanized, and someone in the clinic gave them a copy of 'the Rainbow Bridge'.
I guess it helped me realise that what might seem like trite imagery to a cynic like me can be genuinely helpful to people in a time of need. And sometimes sentimental image hits exactly the right note. So I shall try and be less 'bah humbug' about the rainbow bridge from now one. The full text, author unknown, is as follows:
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.
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.
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.
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....