I came across the title for this next blog post while I was surfing over the Internet and thought it was most definitely a fitting title. It made me wonder what it would actually be like if Rainbow Bridge did have visiting hours and what would I do if I got to go there and visit all of my animal friends that have passed in the last few years. I volunteer at my local zoo here in Atlanta and there have been many instances over my ten year stint here where several of my animal friends have made the passage over Rainbow Bridge and I miss each and every single one of them. HOWEVER, since I can’t just pop over there and do that, I decided to try something else and I thought that it would be a good idea to share it with anyone who might be reading this post in the hopes that it might help someone else. Actually, I kind of did (and still do) more than one so I am going to make a short list.
SOME IDEAS ON WHAT YOU CAN DO IF YOU ARE GRIEVING THE LOSS OF AN ANIMAL FRIEND:
1.) Write them a letter. That’s right, I said write them a letter. Sometimes putting your feelings down in writing helps to sort them out, and I think the best part is you can write about pretty much anything that you want. Write about how you felt when your friend passed, write about your most favorite memories, you can even write about things that you are doing right now. And the other great part is that you can do it whenever you feel like it. When Scarlett passed away, I wrote quite a few letters myself. Spend a couple of minutes of each day writing and it might help make you feel better.
2.) Join a support group. I know it might sound rather silly, having a support group for pets. I mean, they’re not people, right? But I know as much as anyone reading this knows that our pets are our family, and we will grieve for them as much as we would any human family member when it’s time for them to make the crossing over Rainbow Bridge. There are actually several online websites where those who are seeking support can go to if they need help:
And those are just a few of them. Also, this blog is meant to be a place for those that are doing their best to come to terms with the loss of their animal friends as well, so you may think of it as a kind of support group as well. Sometimes, just talking to someone can feel like you’ve had a great burden lifted off of your chest.
3.) Write a book. Hey, that’s what I did, and although there are still days where I still find it rather hard, writing a book helped me manage to work out some of my feelings and it gave me something to focus on. Now, I’m not asking you to go out there and write the next New York Times bestseller, but a book is a great thing to put memories down in. You could even make it into a scrapbook if you wanted.
4.) Have a memorial. Have a memorial for your pet and invite those that are closest to you. It doesn’t just have to be a solemn occasion either, have a party! Have a party, and celebrate the life of your pet. After all, I don’t think they would want you to be sad.
5.) Get another pet. Now, I’m not saying that you should try and replace the pet that you lost. After all, the ones we lose can never truly be replaced. But it might be of some help, especially if you have other pets at home who might also be missing them (they were their friends to you know). You will never replace the friend you lost, but by providing a home for another you are possibly giving an animal a second chance that might not have gotten to have one otherwise.
I am going to end this post by saying that I might not be a certified expert, but I do hope that this small list will prove to be of help to someone. Please feel free to leave comments in the comment section (this is, after all, a place of support for those in need as well). Also, I am going to try and experiment with something. There is a website called Viral Style which allows for customers to come up with campaigns where they can sell products to make money. I have decided to start my own campaign to help endangered rhinos! My goal is to sell at least 50 t-shirts by March 5th. 50% of the profits made from t-shirt sells will be going to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy to aid in their efforts to protect the local endangered rhino populations that live there.
Here is the link to the campaign: Save a Horny Friend!
To learn more about Lewa click here.
Always keep your tail waggin’!