Sunday, 8 February 2009

"Over the Rainbow" - Judy Garland, 1939

One of my friends here in England has just lost his beloved cat. Although his little friend had a very long and happy life, he was very ill at the end.

I understand what's that like...and how hard it is to let go, despite the condition of the pet you love. The same thing happened to me when my little Mac died in 2001. Sometimes, it feels like I lost him only yesterday.

To give my friend what I hope will be a little comfort during a very difficult time, I'll quote the little poem called "The Rainbow Bridge" here. I don't know who wrote it, but the idea expressed gave me some comfort at the time of Mac's death.

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....