When I cross that “Rainbow Bridge” I am going to get knocked over with big wet kisses, many barks, a couple of happy meows and even some chirps! I have had to say “good-bye, I love you, see you later” to 8 pets in total and, the fates willing, many more to come because I will never live a life without pets, they are too important to me, they make me “whole”.
When I welcome a new pet into my life it is with a big inhale because I know that an unspoken promise that I make with my new companion is “I will feed you, I will keep you safe, I will keep you healthy, I will love you, and if you need to pass from this earth before I do, I will help you do so with as little fear and pain and with as much dignity as I can possibly control.”
It’s then with a big exhale as I watch them leave or hold what remains of their little selves. What I have learned is that each time I say good-bye it is different. Sometimes I have had a lot of time to contemplate the departure as I watch my little friends age and grow more frail, sometimes their time comes very unexpectedly. What I do know is that what I have anticipated I would feel is rarely how I end up feeling. While sometimes I think I will be distraught and unable to function, I am able to move forward very sadly but with resolve; at other times I have felt I was prepared and have been quite literally knocked to my knees with grief.
I do, however, have great faith in that “Rainbow Bridge” and I know if I live long enough I will have a great many introductions to make when I cross to that other side.