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  • Gabrielle Elise Jimenez

Death and the Rainbow Bridge

I recently shared a story on my hospice FB page that really opened something up inside me. One of the things I have become very drawn to are the visions that patient’s see as they near the end of their life. I have heard stories of people showing up in their rooms or walking by the door or window, and even reaching for them as though offering a hand to help guide them. I always want to know more. I like hearing about what they see and I am comforted to know that for the most part, there is no fear associated with these visitors.


The visitors vary. Sometimes it is men, sometimes women, usually they are dressed nicely and I have heard often, that the men are wearing hats. Many times, the visitors are loved ones that have passed away, but even the strangers seem to have a way about them that brings comfort. And very rarely do any of them create a sense of fear.


The story I shared was about a man who was nearing the end of his life and concerned about the visions that he has seen. The people (visions) that come to see him are not friends or relatives, but they seem kind enough and he enjoys their presence. He wanted to know why they were there, and what he should say to them. Our conversation was really very beautiful. I was honored that he trusted me with something so personal and I found so much pleasure in helping him decide what he would say to them the next time they stopped by.


On my last visit with him before he passed away, he shared that his two dogs that had died years before, came up onto his bed and curled up next to him. He knew then that his time was near and was thankful they came for a visit. It made me think of my dog Jack who I continue to miss every day, and hope will come curl up next to me when my time is near.


I shared this story on my hospice FB page and it went viral, crazy viral. It reached over eleven million people; it has had over ten thousand comments, and ninety thousand shares. While there were a lot of comments about visions and hallucinations, with believers and non-believers, what really captured my heart, was the thousands of people that shared their own stories of the grief they feel for the loss of their pets whether it has been a few months or twenty years, and they too hope that one day they get to see their “Jack” again.


Jack was my buddy, my best friend, he never judged me, he was always there for me, he knew when I needed him most and was aways right by my side. When he died, a part of me went with him and although the pain and ache is less, the grief is still there and my loss is real.


The love we feel for our fur babies is deep, which means the loss and grief we feel when we lose them is also deep. I was so blown away by the heartfelt stories shared about losses of pets, but also the comfort complete strangers gave to one another after reading their stories.


I understand that everyone believes things differently, some are skeptical, some have a strong faith belief, some have none, some are curious, and some are afraid. But any way you might look at it, whether it is human or fur, when they die, the grief is real and if visions are seen, and someone comes to visit, or a pet crosses back over the rainbow bridge… and there is no fear involved… allow them to find comfort. That’s what I do.


I love this poem: http://www.rainbowsbridge.com/poem.htm

FB page: The Hospice Heart


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