Day 83

Day 83

Rainbow Bridge

For 60 years people all over the world have been finding comfort after the loss of a beloved pet through the Rainbow Bridge poem but they had no idea who to thank.

Paul Koudounaris, art historian and founder of The Order of the Good Death, found her…in Scotland. Edna Clyne-Rekhy had written the poem in 1959 (when she was just 19 years old) right after her Labrador Retriever named Major died. As she wrote, she felt like Major was guiding her pen.

"Sometimes I would just sit and talk to him, and I felt that he could understand every word I said,"

She didn’t sign the piece and years later when her husband encouraged her to publish it, she said it was something private between herself and Major. She did eventually type it up and hand it to a few friends. It got passed around and somehow ended up across the pond and in Dear Abby’s newspaper column.

I think I remember seeing it there. Here’s the poem, in case you haven’t seen it:

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.


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