Dear ones,

We have never met but we are so connected through our love and grief. My boxer Max died in August, and although I think about him all the time and miss him, this last week it has been even worse. I was out doing some Christmas shopping and happened to see dog beds and chew toys and nearly lost it right there. And at home, when unpacking Christmas decorations, we came across his Christmas collar and a squeak toy and it hurt so much.

People sometimes ask if we’re going to get another dog, and some are even more assertive in telling us we should. We probably will, but not yet. We’re just not ready.

I have checked in here at Rainbow Bridge a lot in the last few months, even if I haven’t posted, and I hope you all know how my heart aches for you. I wish I could reach out and make all the pain disappear. I read something the other day about grief that said, “Grief is love that has no place to go.” That rang true with me.

I’m sending you all love and virtual hugs. Thank you for being there with and for me, and for sharing your feelings. I am sending up healing thoughts to each and every one of you.


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Thank you for your warm comments.  We are all in a group that none of us would choose to join. But I am thankful that the group is here, since there is a place where people understand grief over pet loss and all of its complexities.  

I understand your feelings when you discover things that belonged to Max.  The same thing happens with my cat Lenny.  The season stirs up lots of feelings and memories for many of us.

Many of us are not ready to consider getting another pet and some of us may never be.  There is so much sadness and tragedy in this group that it becomes overwhelming sometimes.  At the same time, the love, caring and support that people who are struggling are able to give each other is remarkable.  

I send holiday blessings and thanks to the people who started this group and have maintained it for so many  years.  The hope of the Rainbow Bridge, whether literal or symbolic, is very powerful and a wonderful image to hold onto for so many of us.
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  Your words are very moving. This will be my 1st Christmas without my dog and the feelings of sadness are overwhelming. Posting here has been helpful. It is true that we (Forum members) are united in our unwavering love for our pets and nothing can break that bond. I plan to go away for a few days, just to get out of the house. This isn't my 1st time losing a beloved pet, I've been down this road a few times before. I have found that relentless grief can be debilitating. It just won't go away. It eats away at you. But there are ways to stand your ground and fight back. Experience has taught me that giving back to someone less fortunate can be a major mood lifter. What I mean by that is maybe, just maybe, you feel compelled to do some kind of volunteer work (at a local Humane Society facility, soup kitchen, etc.). Possibly reach out to a friend that you haven't spoke to in a long time. It's amazing how you can brighten someone else's life by a simple, random act of kindness. You are also helping yourself by deflecting your grief. I want to wish you and your family a wonderful Holiday season.  Take Care.

Jim Miller
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Melissa, I am so sorry about Max's passing.

And yes, Christmas brings up those poignant memories. It's both beautiful and terribly sad at the same time when we stumble upon some little item of theirs, and sad when it's the first Christmas without them, and we can't buy them a present.

I know how you feel. I remember often being in tears in the store, when I passed by things I used to buy for my girl too.

This is my eighth Christmas without my girl Misty. In a way it does get easier, but in another way she is still terribly missed -always, but especially at times like this.

Blessings to your Max, now your good boy in Spirit. And to you.
Thank you for sending out your love and kindness to us all here.
Hold the love like a little light. It is all you have, or will ever have, to find your way home.

Misty's Blog..a Dogfight with Cancer

Misty's life after death:
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