HEAVEN AND THE RAINBOW BRIDGE

By Friday, January 9, 2015 38 , , Permalink

It’s a little after 4:00 in the morning. I cannot sleep. I keep trying to visualize Heaven and the Rainbow Bridge. You see, yesterday my Mother (whom many have met through a few of my posts) passed away…

DSCN1139Even though she was 97 years old, and I was blessed to have her in my life far longer than most, her presence will be greatly missed because I had her in my life far longer than most. #youfeelme

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I toss and turn at this strange hour, having private conversations with myself – convincing myself I will be okay – someday. Memories of a time not too long ago when I was forced to begin my LIFE WITHOUT LEO become powerful, vivid and cause me to get out of bed.

Hence the “Heaven and the Rainbow Bridge” thoughts.

Last month thousands of people debated the interpretation of Pope Francis’ words when he consoled a tearful child whose dog died. He said: “One day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all of God’s creatures.” 

Hey, I’m good with that! I am “tickled to doodle” with the thought.

But I want to understand how the two are connected. I know about Heaven, and I’m familiar with the poem THE RAINBOW BRIDGE” but before dawn I felt the need to know the origin of the story.

So at 4:45am with Harley snoring in the chair behind me, I surf the net with my friend “wiki” trying to gain additional knowledge about the origin of this popular poem.

The story of the Rainbow Bridge tells of a green meadow located “this side of Heaven” (i.e., before one enters into it). Rainbow Bridge is the name of both the meadow and an adjoining bridge connecting it to Heaven.

According to the story, when a pet dies, it goes to the meadow, having been restored to perfect health and free of any injuries. The pet runs and plays all day with the others, there is always fresh food and water, and the sun is always shining. However, it is said that while the pet is at peace and happy, they miss their owner who had to be left behind on Earth.

When their owner dies, they come across the Rainbow Bridge. It is at that moment that their pet stops what they are doing and sniffs at the air and looks into the distance where they see their beloved owner. Excited, they run as fast as they can until they are in their owner’s arms, licking their face in joy while their owner looks into the eyes of their pet who was absent on Earth, but never absent in their heart. Then side by side, they cross the Rainbow Bridge together into Heaven, never again to be separated.

I find comfort in this story, and as I look back at photos of my mom (whom by the way was never very fond of dogs until she met mine!) with Leo as a puppy, I smile…

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He was clumsy and awkward but oh so gentle and loving with her…

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I believe Leo knows it’s “ok” to “sniff the air” and run as fast as he can to my mom…

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She was never his owner – but she is a part of me and somehow I know in my heart that is good enough for him. Side by side they can cross the Rainbow Bridge together into Heaven, and I’m okay believing when the time comes, they will both come back for me…

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The sun is coming up, and there is peace in my spirit. Thank you so much for reading – thank you for being our friends.

Feel free to read other stories about my mom whom we all affectionately called “Angel” – she was a gift!

CAN AN “ANGEL” HAVE AN ANGEL

HARLEY SEARCHES FOR HIS “ANGEL”

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

38 Comments
  • Scotty
    January 9, 2015

    Absolutely Beautiful!!!!!

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 12, 2015

      Thanks Scotty!

  • Karen
    January 9, 2015

    Cathy,

    My sincere condolences to you and your family. I am so sorry to hear about your mother’s passing. You were blessed to have her in your life for a very long time, but it’s still hard to lose your parents, regardless of their age when they leave us. I’ll be thinking of you. God Bless! Mila sends you, Lee and Harly hugs!

    Karen

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 12, 2015

      Thank you Karen. Harley’s not quite aware of who is missing but he knows “somethings missing” It was nice to bump into Mila the other day. They romped like there was no tomorrow. It was great for Harley.

  • Sheila Bond
    January 9, 2015

    Lovely sentiments Cathy. I am sure that your mom and Leo are together, and sharing some wonderful times together.
    I will say a prayer for you, and your mother.
    Hugs.

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 12, 2015

      Thank you Sheila and thank you for your prayers. I truly need them.

  • Mayra Ruiz-McPherson
    January 9, 2015

    My heart is so sad with this news. You know you do NOT need to hesitate to reach out for ANYTHING, I am there/here for you. Meanwhile, until you are ready, you and your family are in my most loving and heartfelt thoughts. Thinking of you … Love, Mayra

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 12, 2015

      Thanks Caesar – I know you are never far, I love you girl…

  • DashLilly
    January 9, 2015

    Dash, Lilly and I are so sad to know your mom has gone. I join you in my confidence that Leo is with her and they are sharing a lot of licks and pats and your mom is saying “hello Poochie.” It is never easy. Remember what Stephen Colbert said when his mother died at 92:
    “I know that it may sound greedy to want more days with a person who lived so long,” said Stephen, breaking character to eulogize his mother and fighting back tears. “But the fact that my mother was 92 does not diminish, it only magnifies the enormity of the room whose door has now quietly shut.”
    We are all here with you and loving you and “Poochie.”

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 12, 2015

      Hey Deirdre – I love that quote. I will cherish it for that is how I feel. Pooch-Poochie knows somethings not “quite right” but I don’t think he will fully understand until we go back to the Assisted Living Facility and he runs to her room looking for her and she’s not there. It was so good to meet you last month, I’m just so sorry I wasn’t able to spend more time with you. Hugs to Dash and Lilly.

  • Amanda
    January 9, 2015

    This touched me so deeply. Thank you for sharing. I am sincerely sorry for your loss but fully agree with you that Leo will be there with a wagging tail and happy kisses for your mama, may she rest in peace. God bless you and your family.

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 12, 2015

      Thank you Amanda, I’m sure you understand it when I say it – I really find comfort when I think of the two of them together. Their deaths were close. I was just starting to breathe normally – you know. Now I’m gasping again. But when I feel like I’m about to lose it, I grab onto to Harley tightly and take del breaths in his fur – then I’m able to believe I can do this again.

  • Sand Spring Chesapeakes
    January 9, 2015

    What a beautiful post you did in a very sad time in your life. You thought about us your readers and did a great tribute to your mom and Leo.. They are together again with no pain or suffering. I am so sorry about the passing of your mom, You have my deepest sympathy.

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 12, 2015

      J. Stancer, writing is my therapy. I gravitate towards it during my darkest moments. Writing to you all makes it real, writing is my “everything” pill. I will miss my mother terribly, but I do find comfort knowing that Leo is there for her and she is there for him. He now has someone to throw “Wilson” to him 🙂 Thank you for your friendship – it means a great deal.

  • Emma
    January 9, 2015

    So sorry for your loss. Both Leo and your mom so close in time is tough. Right now we know many that have recently lost a parent and feel for everyone of you! Remember the good times, cherish all those memories as they are with you forever and ever. Hug Harley and cry on his fur, we dogs don’t mind a bit. Your mom was so special.

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 12, 2015

      Emma – I would be lying if I told you that I am not thinking even more about Leo and this past summer. I find comfort though thinking and remembering all the fun we had and how much fun he’s having with my Mother. She was never a “dog” person, but she loved herself some Groovy Goldendoodles. Thanks so much for your furrendship.

  • Ann Staub
    January 9, 2015

    I’m so sorry Cathy. I was also thinking a lot about the Rainbow Bridge and my mom and had to look it up and read more too. I think Leo will definitely cross with her. My mom’s got at least 2 dogs there, and I wonder if when Shiner goes to the bridge my mom will be there too. My mom was one of the few people Shiner really liked. There are so many things that go through your mind afterwards… I hope you are able to get some good sleep before too long. Thinking of you.

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 12, 2015

      I agree totally Ann. It wasn’t until I read “about” the poem, that I started to like it actually. I’m thinking Shiner (like Leo) was there for your Mom and they are all together again. I hope you are doing better – it takes time, so you feel free to lean on me, and I will definitely reach out for a hug from time to time from you. Thinking of you also…

  • Jan K
    January 9, 2015

    Cathy, I am so very sorry for your loss. Those photo memories you have of your mother and Leo are so special, and I’m glad the thought of them together is bringing you comfort and peace. I love the Rainbow Bridge story.
    My mother died fairly young (65) and has been gone a lot of years but I still remember how difficult it was. She also passed the same year as one of our dogs and a cat as well. That was a bad year and it doesn’t seem fair sometimes to have to experience so many losses so close together.
    We’ll be thinking of you and hoping you find more comfort in your family, including Harley of course. Hugs.

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 12, 2015

      Thanks Jan K. This is certainly going to take some getting used to – Harley senses somethings not right, but I am better equipped to know what to do for him now while he grieves. We (the entire family) will get through this I’m sure. She’s at peace now, and that makes me smile. Thanks again so much for your friendship. It means a great deal.

  • Lauren Miller
    January 9, 2015

    I am so sorry for your loss!! 🙁

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 12, 2015

      Thank you Lauren – thank you very much….

  • Jessica Shipman | Beagles and Bargains
    January 9, 2015

    Cathy, I am so sorry for your loss. I too found it comforting to think of who would be there to greet my grandfather, who I lost in December. Your post made me wonder if one of my childhood dogs crossed over with him. My dog, Jake, always turned to my grandpa when he was scared or unsure. I hope you are able to sleep well soon. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need anything!

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 12, 2015

      Jessica, I am convinced that those childhood dogs did just that! I believe “family” dogs would come back over and over to walk that bridge with whomever whenever the time comes. Thanks so much for your kind words of comfort. This will take some time, but I’m gonna try really hard to adjust to what I now call my new normal 2.0.

  • Claudette pope
    January 9, 2015

    God Bless you Cathy. There Is Nothing like a Mothers love. You indeed were Blessed to have had your Mom for this long, and in turn you Harley and Leo Blessed her also. My prayers are for you and your family’s strength in this time of sorrow.

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 12, 2015

      Thank you so much Claudette. Mom was a blessing and a true testament to living your life to the fullest.

  • Poo
    January 9, 2015

    Cathy,

    My prayers are with you and the family. May God continue to use you in his own way. You mother lived s full life and was able yo share her wisdom with many for 90 plus years.

    What a mighty legacy to leave for others to follow.
    Be Bless

    Poo & Family.

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 12, 2015

      Thanks Poo Bear! She still talked about you often. She said you were so nice to her during our wedding – as time went by I doubt she remembered “what” you did, but none the less you and Keeles got lot’s of praise all the time.

  • Nicole S
    January 10, 2015

    Cathy, We were so sorry to hear about your mother passing. You are a living testament to the kind of woman your mother was. You are as always in my thoughts and prayers. As always, I’m right here if you need anything. Love you,

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 12, 2015

      Thanks Nic – It was so sweet of your girls to bring me flowers. They were beautiful and your children are so precious to me. This will surely take some adjusting, but we will be okay – in time. Thanks again neighbor

  • Teresa
    January 12, 2015

    We are so sorry to hear about your loss and hope your mum and Leo are now together. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Hugs x

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 12, 2015

      Thank you so much Teresa –

  • Jackie Bouchard
    January 13, 2015

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your mom. When a friend loses a pet, I always say that there is never “enough” time with our furry family members, but of course there’s never enough time with any of our loved ones. You are definitely proof of that, having your mom live to such a great age. I know you will feel her absence, but love never dies. She (and Leo) will always be with you in your heart.

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 20, 2015

      Thank you Jackie, I know the pain will slowly dissipate over time, but my memories will always be there. For that I am eternally grateful. I was blessed to have had so many wonderful years with her. I also find comfort imagining her throw “Wilsons” to Leo, it makes me smile –

  • Rebekah
    January 14, 2015

    I am so very sorry for you and your family’s loss. (((hugs)))

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 20, 2015

      Thank you Rebekah, I feel the hugs…

  • Barbara Rivers
    January 18, 2015

    I am so very sorry for your loss, Cathy. You were blessed with having your mom in your life for such a long time, but that doesn’t make it any easier. I’m sure she is watching over Leo, looking down on you with him.

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 20, 2015

      Thanks so much Barbara. I do feel blessed, and I also find comfort knowing she and Leo are together.

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