Why Do Pets ‘Cross The Rainbow Bridge’ When They Pass Away?

We may face a lot of difficult times in our life, but one of the most difficult for a pet owner is when the pet falls asleep in death. They had been such a big part of our lives for so many years and it stings more than most people realize when it happens.

Any pet owner knows that it’s not simply a matter of moving on and getting another pet, it’s a real grieving process that we go through.

Of course, if you have other pet owners or animal lovers in your life, they will show some compassion but they may be at a loss for words that can really describe their support. That is when you often hear that a dog has “crossed the Rainbow Bridge.” For some people, it’s comforting to think that their dog is alive and living the best life in another location. For others, it does more harm than good.

Photo: Unsplash

Here are some reasons why people may not want to hear about the rainbow bridge after a pet has passed away.

The first thing you should consider is what is behind the rainbow bridge concept. Not everybody believes that there is an afterlife and some people don’t believe that dogs take part in it. There are some who do, but they may even differ in their thoughts on the process behind it. It is a very personal thing for many people, so some may find that telling them about the Rainbow Bridge is little more than words that fill an awkward moment.

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You also need to consider what the person may be hearing when you tell them that their pet has now crossed the Rainbow Bridge. What you are actually saying is that the animal is in a better place, and they may feel as if the best place was right there in their own home. It can be an upsetting thing, especially during a time when somebody is grieving the loss of an animal.

Photo: Unsplash

One other thing to consider is that many people will talk about the Rainbow Bridge, not to provide comfort but because they don’t know what else to say. It may be much more comforting to the person who is grieving to hear that you are sorry for their loss or perhaps just to make them a meal and take it over so they can focus on what is most important in their lives.

Wil Wheaton, the actor who is probably best known for his part of Wesley Crusher in Star Trek TNG, had something to say about the Rainbow Bridge when his dog Riley died. He posted a tribute to the dog on the Internet but then asked people not to talk about the Rainbow Bridge. It wasn’t something that he believed in and he wouldn’t find it comforting to hear other people talk about it.

Photo: Unsplash

Of course, there are always going to be differences in opinion and some people get very passionate about their beliefs when it comes to losing a pet. Philosophical discussions are not something that should be brought into the mix at this particular time and it is best to have such a conversation only with those you are very close to and when grief is not a big part of the picture.

Then again, some people are very comforted by the concept of the Rainbow Bridge and they may even talk about it when they discussed losing the animal in their life. It is best if you let them bring it up, rather than bringing it up first and running the risk of saying the wrong thing.

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