Pet Grief: Lessons from the Rainbow Bridge

‘’Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened’’ — Anatole France

From the moment our furry friends enter our lives and til the end of their time with us — they are teaching us lessons. Lessons we only come to realize when our exhange of love is met with grief.

Their arrival into our lives is a reminder of what humans struggle to master the most.

The art of unconditional love.

They role model the true meaning of non-judgment, acceptance and gratitude. Their sheer presence guarantees us joy — but also guarantees us the ultimate heartbreak.

Our relationship with love and grief becomes an endless dance. A dance we come to realize cannot be done without the other. To have loved — means to have lost and to have lost means to have loved. One we could not quite fully grasp until we are reminded by life itself — that our furry friends time spent with us is indeed rented.

Maloose, which means ‘’cute’’ in Persian entered my life as a teenager without much thought. An impulsive thought followed by an actionable desire to bond with a furry friend. His anxious temperament was always met with courage. He demanded royalty — but enough to humble himself. He knew what he wanted and remained determined. Til the end of his journey with me — he showed resilience. His courageous fight was one that filled our souls with helplessness. Yet — the hardest decision was knowing through his eyes that it was time to let go. A fight neither of us could win.

They say our pets know when their time is coming. Days before his crossing — Maloose sat infront of me and deeply stared into my eyes. It was an unusual behaviour but his gaze was filled with comfort. If he could talk — he would tell me how much he appreciated his journey here. All the love he received, the 5-star meals and the changes we made in our own lives to grant him comfort.

They say our pets do not enter our lives without reason. A higher purpose and soul mission embeds them into our lives. Our time together is determined by our souls desires to connect. A deep-felt connection that challenges our perceptions of the world. They role-model the truest form of compassion. A practice of what humans struggle to offer others is one we freely offer to them.

When we lose them — we must learn to live without them — only carrying the lessons they taught us and the love they left behind. A love we struggle to give to the rest of the world.

Maloose’s departure reminded me to value my energy, value my time, value my boundaries and to protect my inner peace. Most of all — to be selective in our fights with ourselves and the world. To observe the journey with purpose and to fight vigorously for what is right — but not to lose ourselves within it.

Through this — I honour his lesson.

Although, they may no longer be by our side — they will continue to live in our hearts and memories.

Only reminding us of our own rented time on this earthly place.

Until, we meet them again at the rainbow bridge.

In loving memory of Maloose — 2006–2021.