Lately a lot of posts on my Facebook page seem to have to do with the loss of a pet. I generally read them, post sympathy notes, and let it go at that. One post touched me though. The poster’s grief was so profound that I wanted to do something more. I wanted to share a bit of a personal story to offer comfort and hope. The Rainbow Bridge is real. I know.
I died on May 21, 1992.
I was undergoing emergency surgery and I didn’t make it. I remember the hubbub in the operating room, and the entry of the crash cart, and watching as the staff applied the paddles. Quite frankly, I wondered what all the fuss was about. The pain was gone, and I felt wonderful. I remember turning toward a distant place, I saw people gathered. In the front row were Georgie, my guinea pig and Mr. Jinx, my wonderful first cat. Pets I never thought to see again. Georgie waddled over to greet me, and Jinxie jumped on my shoulder. Same as he had done when I was nine.
My aunt was in the back row with my uncle. All the people I had loved in life were there.
Including my friend, Blanche. She’d been murdered on New Year’s Eve 1979. She came over and lifted Jinx from my shoulder and gave him a snuggle. Then she put him down and told me I needed to leave. It wasn’t time. Not yet. Jinx rubbed my ankles and I gave Georgie a scratch on his snout. I wanted to stay. Instead, I watched the group fade away.
The next thing I recall was waking in the recovery room. The nurse’s first words to me were, “We thought we lost you.” She confirmed my recollections of actions taken and words spoken. I, however, wasn’t convinced. You see, I’d spoken to my aunt the week before I went into the hospital. I called my cousin when I got home. My aunt had died the night before my surgery.
The memory of Georgie and Mr. Jinx waiting for me, greeting me with all of the love they shared with me when they were alive warms me. It’s never easy to lose a pet. Even knowing what I know, I mourn them all deeply. I find comfort that they are out of pain and at peace and to Pirate, Smokey, Elvis, Starlight, Fred, Missy, Zoe, Hutch, Jack, Wes, Doc Holliday, Roy, and Mama Charlie, I can only say, I’ll be seeing you.
If you’ve lost a fur friend. Take comfort. They are not gone; they are only waiting.