The Rainbow Bridge- exploring a common belief about pet death

By on June 21, 2018

Sturgill Simpson once sang that we’re all “living to die/ dying to live/ no matter what you believe.” We suppose it’s true- every culture, religion, and people has a thought system on living, dying, and what happens when earthly life ends.

Sometimes it’s a belief being offered that there’s nothing on the other side; other times there’s someplace wonderful or eternal or closer to God. And in the pet community, there’s a place our companions are often believed to experience after their time with us- the Rainbow Bridge.

A recent Washington Post article states that if you’ve had a pet, you’ve probably heard of the Rainbow Bridge. The Post’s discussion of it minces no words, calling it a “mythical place.” It even details a veterinarian chuckling about the idea of the Bridge when asked.

It offers “an easy way to have something to say,” the vet said. “I don’t think it’s any better or worse than saying, ‘Oh, she’s in doggy heaven.”

Doggie heaven, the Rainbow Bridge, etc. are things humans who love their animals and have some sort of faith have cited as the post-earth lives of animals come to an end. Maybe it’s all a coping mechanism to help us deal with loss. Maybe it’s a faith thing. Maybe it’s out there somewhere. Whatever the case, the Post’s article is interesting in its discussion of psychology.

One reason this “Chicken Soup for the Soul” has survived, even expanded exponentially in the last few decades, the article says, is that it makes the cash register sing. Maybe that’s true; it’s definitely a bit cynical. Regardless, the discussion is always fun to hear.

How do you deal with pet loss? Have you got faith that you’ll one day be reunited with lost companions?

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