To the Ones We've Lost, But Have Not Forgotten
Dear Departed Companions,
Time has come and gone, but the memory of you remains in our hearts as you spend your days on the Rainbow Bridge. Though we are no longer together here on earth, the lessons you taught us about strength, forgiveness and love remain, serving as a reminder to live each day like you did. As we share some final words with you, there are few things we desperately want you to know.
We hope you know that you were our best friend. Through thick and thin, you were by our side. You never judged us. You were always there to lend a furry ear. When we were sad, you licked away our tears, or cuddled us to sleep. When we were happy, you celebrated with us with your wagging tail or excited meows. When we were frustrated, you never held it against us. We could never thank you enough for always being there, and we know that you are still watching over us.
We hope you know that we loved you with all of our hearts. Some people try to tell us that you were just a pet, but we know it was much more than that. You were, and still remain, a part of our family.
We hope you know that you brought light into our lives. Every sloppy kiss or comforting purr. Every second spent playing together or just cuddling on the couch. Every time you joyfully greeted us at the door or gave us those big, sad eyes as we left for work. We never took any of it for granted. Every moment was a moment with you, and you brought happiness and gratitude into our lives just by being you. Now, without you, things seem a little duller, but no amount of darkness could ever extinguish your light.
We hope you know that you can never be replaced. As time goes on, we will open our hearts and homes to other animals in need, but they will never be you. You hold a special place in our hearts and that spot will forever be yours.
We hope you know that we did our best, dear friend, and we know you did too.
We hope you know that we are grateful you fought so hard in the end. As your face grayed and our daily walks were getting more and more difficult, we realized our time together was coming to an end. We adapted to make things easier on your aging body and you used all of your strength to make each day a little longer, once again trying to make us happy as the realization of our fleeting time hit us.
We hope you know that saying goodbye was never easy. As we prepare to part ways with our companions, we are faced with guilt and sadness. We know we are making the right and compassionate decision for you, but we never wanted our time together to be over. We always had the best intentions and we tried to give you the life you deserved, but that also means accepting that our life together wasn’t forever - one day we had to make the decision to let you go. And, when that day came, you took a piece of us with you.
We hope you know that we will see you again soon. There is a special place after death for all of the amazing animals that walked this earth, like you. It’s called Rainbow Bridge, and that’s where you are now; playing with your favorite toys, eating your favorite treats and living in harmony with all of the other lost and loved companions. We miss you and know you miss us too, but, one day, we will walk side by side again.
“There are some who think it’s foolish to weep Over a cherished pet in eternal sleep. But those poor souls are truly blind For they know not of the creature kind. But you who devoted so many years Deserve the time to shed those tears Over the loss of your furry friend Whose life on earth has come to an end. And may the tears that you now weep Sow loving memories forever to keep.” [Unknown Author]
Claire R. Grimes is the SPCA Albrecht Center’s Development Director. She is an Aiken native, who graduated from College of Charleston and interned with Charleston Animal Society. She is excited to be working in animal welfare in her hometown and is proud of the community efforts to better the lives of Aiken’s animals. Her family includes her husband, Logan, an SPCA adopted black lab, Ozzy, an SPCA adopted Siamese mix, Luna, and Claire’s first love, Anakin, a 17-pound rescued Maine Coon mix.