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I’m finding the idea of an afterlife quite comforting at the moment. I haven’t believed in it for a very long time – certainly since primary school – and haven’t felt the need for it. When Dad died and lots of people said “he’s in a better place now” or something similar, I was never bothered that, as far as I was concerned, he was only in two places: his grave and our memories.

But it’s different with the girls gone. I want it to be true that they’re somewhere doing all their favourite things without a care in the world. Five years of life wasn’t enough for them. They should’ve had at least another 10. There was lots more for them to do and experience. I want it to be true that they’re able to still do that, albeit in a different way than I had planned.

I don’t know why I want them to have an afterlife. Maybe because they were so young. Maybe because of how they died. Maybe because they both went together. Or maybe it is simply because we were so bonded: living together and without anyone else, sleeping in the same bed; spending my evenings and weekends with them. They were basically my 4-legged children.

Three years with them wasn’t enough for me. I just want to be with them. I want to believe that we’ll be together again someday.

Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

Depression Grief Other

5 years

I wish I could go back in time 5 years. There are so many things that I wish I could have a second chance with. So many things I could’ve done better or prevented.

Helping Dad more while he was ill. Spending more time with him. Making sure things were sorted properly before he died. Getting James to visit.

Potentially finding better jobs than the ones I ended up with. Jobs that energized me and developed me.

Making an effort to have a decent social life instead of wallowing and waiting for others.

Dealing with Pop’s alzheimer’s better. Starting reminiscence therapy sooner. Spending more time with them. Keeping him active for longer.

Looking after the horses better. Making sure I knew what to do, rather than just guessing based on the bits of knowledge I had. Asking for help when I needed it.

Protecting the dogs. Tying them up at the farm or not taking them at all. Getting GPS trackers for them. Hell, even just not being careless or looking harder for them that day.

Less than 12 months ago, 14 lives depended on me. Now only 7 lives do. I need to learn from my mistakes. I need to take things seriously and act, rather than just thinking and procrastinating.