What Is Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day?
Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day was founded by Deborah Barnes, author and blogger of Zee & Zoey’s Cat Chronicles in tribute to her Ragdoll cat, Mr. Jazz.
This special day was founded in 2015 as a way for pet guardians to honor the memory of those beloved pets in their life they have loved and lost, but never forgotten – whether fur, fin, feathers, scales or something else.
It’s held every year on August 28, which is the day that Deb said good-bye to Mr. Jazz in 2013.
She shares the journey of letting him go in her book, Purr Prints of the Heart – A Cat’s Tale of Life, Death, and Beyond.
How To Celebrate Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day
There is no right or wrong to celebrate Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day.
This special day is dedicated to celebrating the pets of our past and how you chose to celebrate them is a very personal matter.
I am writing this blog post and will be sharing pictures of Sherman, Leroy, and other past pets on social media using the hashtag ##rainbowbridgeremembranceday .
Deb has also created a Facebook event page for those who might want to post a picture, share a favorite memory, upload a video, or more. Over the years, some have even held memorials or community vigils, with the day making the local news.
This is the event link: https://bit.ly/RainbowBridge2020FB.
Also, please keep in mind that there is no pressure to participate in this day.
Losing a pet is extremely hard and personal so don’t feel that you have to join in if it will be too much.
Some of us have recently lost a pet and the grief is overwhelming and for some of us that have lost pets months ago, the grief is still very much there.
I am one of those people.
In fact, preparing for this day has been hard and I’ve written several posts only to delete them all.
My initial plan was to share happy and funny stories of Sherman and Leroy so that I could keep this post upbeat and positive for you.
But I just can’t do that yet.
Instead of sugar-coating all of this, I’m just going to tell you the hard and sad truth in hopes that some of you will know that you’re not alone in your grief.
There is no magical time limit that people will grieve for the loss of their pets and each grief will be different.
There is nothing wrong with you if you’re grieving the loss of your pet years after they have been gone.
And there is nothing wrong with you if you are at peace with the loss of your pet soon after they are gone.
I am at peace and have been at peace with saying good-bye to Sherman.
When I think of him I smile and I know that he’s with me, always.
Sunflowers remind me of him and now that they are in full bloom, my heart explodes each time I see one.
With Leroy, I’m sad to say that there is not so much happiness, only darkness.
I am still very much grieving his loss and I haven’t found the light at the end of the tunnel.
When I think of him I get a huge lump in my throat and the tears automatically begin to fall.
I don’t feel his presence and I am not at peace with his passing.
The other night I sat down with my husband and told him the grief that I was still having.
I said, ” I just don’t know why I can’t get past this with him.”
My husband’s reply was, “That’s the kind of dog that he was and you always knew it.”
I think that I am searching for something with Leroy that I am never going to get and that’s the feeling that his presence is with me.
Leroy was never 100% with me when he was here. That doesn’t mean that he didn’t love me, I know he did, but he wasn’t connected to me.
He wasn’t connected to anyone. That’s just the kind of dog he was.
I knew that then but it’s somehow harder to accept now.
So that’s where I am in my stage of grief.
I’m moving forward but I’m still there and if you are too, that’s ok.
Memories Of Sherman 11/14/06-8/17/19
I have several memories of Sherman that bring a smile to my face.
He was always so excited to play with his yellow toy bone and he loved it when you tossed it to him.
He wouldn’t give up on it either.
He would keep bringing you that toy for 24 hours a day if we let him.
I also loved the way that Sherman protected us.
He did not like goofing around and he would always bark his head off and put his body between the instigators until the goofing around came to an end.
Sherman was a homebody and preferred being in the comforts of his own yard or home over being out on adventures.
He wasn’t into going on walks but would shuffle along just to be near us.
Sherman always wanted to be with us, although not exactly touching anyone.
He liked his personal space and we respected that.
I miss Sherman’s sweet, innocent face and telling him goodnight.
Memories of Leroy 06/30/08-1/30/20
Leroy was a goofball from day 1 and he didn’t care.
He always did things his way or not at all.
He didn’t need to be the center of attention although he often was.
He was always getting into trouble and it was several years before Leroy could be trusted to have full roam of the house.
I wouldn’t say that Leroy lived life to the fullest but he lived life well and with no regrets.
He liked to play silly but it would only last for about 6 minutes and then he would just walk away.
There wasn’t a food that Leroy didn’t like but his favorite treat of all time was ice cubes.
Whenever the freezer door would open, Leroy would be there.
He always brought me a shoe when I would come home and he would never let me catch him with it.
I miss his ginormous head resting on my legs.
Please join me in celebrating Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day by sharing a story about the dog that you’re honoring today and if you don’t have a happy story, it’s ok to share that you don’t.