The Rainbow Bridge is used to refer to death. It addresses a path from this life to the great beyond, over a legendary extension of colors. However, it is being used as a demise code word since it connects with pets and their owners, explicitly.
It takes its origin from a story that recounts a rich green meadow just before the entrance of heaven (“just this side of Heaven”). Rainbow Bridge is the name of both the meadow and the way that connects it to Heaven.
According to the story, when a pet dies, it goes to the meadow revived with good health and free of any injuries. The pets play and have fun with the others among unlimited sunshine, fresh food, and water.
It is generally believed that while the pets always is at peace and happy at the rainbow bridge, they also misses their owner whom they left behind on Earth. When the owner dies afterward, he will also arrive at the meadow. At this time, the pets stop playing and get excited at the sight of their beloved owner.
The pets run and unite with their owner and lick him in excitement. The owner who has missed this beloved pet looks into his soft eyes amidst the cuddle and embrace. The pet and their owner will cross the Bridge together and will never get separated again.
The poem assures that you and your deceased pet will eventually “cling together in joyous reunion. It has thus become the condolence standard for veterinary practices.
What is the Rainbow Bridge?
It is the subject of a few works of poetry written during the 1980s. These poems talk about a common spot where pets go upon death and where they are brought together with their owners.
This bridge is a legendary bridge said to interface heaven and earth. It is believed to be the meeting point where people reunite with their departed furry companions. It is a poem that helps to recollect the strong bond once shared between pet owners and their animals.
It is common to use the "rainbow bridge" term and poems as a way to offer condolences to mourning pet owners. To show the significance of our pets, a day has been set aside every year to remember dead pets. The rainbow bridge remembrance day holds every year on August 28.
Where does the Rainbow Bridge come from?
The rainbow bridge for cats and the rainbow bridge for dogs has been used by animal lovers since the 1980s. Meanwhile, the origin of the poem cannot be accurately traced. Even though it is usually attributed to an unknown author, about three men claimed to have written it. One of them is Paul C. Dahm who even holds a copyright for one of the variations.
Long version of the poem
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 a 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....
Short Version of the poem
There is a bridge connecting Heaven and Earth.
It is called Rainbow Bridge because of its many splendid colors.
Just this side of Rainbow Bridge there is a land of meadows, hills,
and valleys with lush, green grass.
When beloved pets die, they go to this place.
There is always food and water and warm spring weather.
The old and frail animals are young again.
Those who are maimed are made whole again.
They play all day with each other.
There is only one thing missing.
They are not with their special person who loved
them on earth.
So each day they run and play.
Until the day comes when one suddenly stops playing and looks up!
The nose twitches.
The ears are up!
The eyes are staring.
And this one suddenly runs from the group.
You have been seen!
And when you and your special friend meet,
you take him in your arms and embrace.
Your face is kissed again and again and again,
and you look once more more into the eyes of your trusting pet.
Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together...
Never again to be separated.
Why do we think dead pets cross the Rainbow Bridge?
This bridge is an idea, not a religion or a fact. It has long served as a coping mechanism for pet owners as a show of hope whenever they lose their pets. It also brings pet-loving communities together and reinforces the notion that pets aren’t disposable. They’re a big part of our lives and deserve the same respect and love just like we do for our loved ones.
The idea of crossing the bridge has always helped pet owners deal with their grief. After all, losing a pet can hurt just as badly as losing a human companion or loved one. It’s great to have a common idea on how to narrate and deal with the loss of a pet. It makes us feel not so alone when our pets suddenly leave our lives.
Anyone who has lost a pet knows just how hard it is to say goodbye. In life, we never wish to leave our pets alone for too long. The bond between a pet and its owner is so strong. This makes it difficult to cope after the pet pass away leaving its owner. The rainbow bridge has come to ease this by bringing immense comfort.
It makes it easy to imagine our pets living in a better place. We’ll be able to find solace in the thought that we’ll finally join our beloved pets and walk with them.
The poem also offers an eloquent answer to the question: “Where do pets go when they die?” Children often ask this difficult question when they lose a pet for the first time. And adults also wonder where their pet’s soul goes after death. The poem provides an answer (whether you take it literally or metaphorically) for children and adults, alike.