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....
I have cried a lot these past few days and when I read the kind words that people have to write, I cry more, but crying is good and therapeutic. It has been a long time since I have cried like this. Each time I read this poem I find that my heart heals just a bit more. I realize that while Gabby was here for only a short time, her life here was wonderful, but her eternal life is even better. No longer does Gabby need to fight off the "big dogs" for her food, she will have whatever she needs now. She is chasing ducks and chickens and napping under trees with Carlos, Benito, Milkshake, and Jimmy. Gabby, our little protector, is watching over us now from a different place. She will be waiting for Ellie at the end of our driveway, on our little farm in heaven.
I am beginning to find comfort in knowing that when it is finally my time to leave this life, I will have my little farm waiting for me with all of my loves anticipating my arrival. Gabby Girl is making sure that everyone is kept together while they wait for me and I am sure that she is bouncing around with pure joy.
Although my heart will always ache and hold a place for each of these special creatures, I need to be able to let go and give my time and attention to the animals who need me here. I need to enjoy the fact that I have such a beautiful life full of people and animals I keep close to my heart. I cannot protect my heart from hurting, the only way to do that would be to isolate myself from what I love. My soul needs the people and animals that fill my life in order to be complete. I will take the heartache that comes along with my heart loving deep and hard, just help me get through it when the time comes.