Speaking of bridges, I fully support Chris Clarke’s idea to collapse the Rainbow Bridge and replace it with a metaphysically sturdier one.
I got a different card with my dog’s ashes a few weeks ago, actually. It started off with a paraphrase of Tennyson’s line — “To have loved and then said farewell is better than to have never loved at all” — which I suppose was reworded because saying “To have loved and lost” sounds too painfully final. Euphemisms; never a good sign for intellectual honesty.
It went downhill from there. Today he is as he was in his youth (hopefully not his early puppyhood when he had parvo and served briefly as bait for dogs learning to fight). Green grass, butterflies flitting among flowers, shining sun and other assorted awesome alliterations. He awaits my arrival, of course, but knowing how worried he got whenever I was gone for even several hours, I hate to think that he’s going to have to possibly wait another few decades. Plus, if it’s eternal summertime there, I’m going to be pissed. I fucking hate hot weather. Are we sure this isn’t hell? How is this supposed to be comforting?
Anyway. It’s signed, “Your pet in heaven.”
I don’t mind it too terribly, even when people try to offer schmaltzy condolences in person. I don’t pay close attention to whatever strangers and casual acquaintances are babbling about anyway, and grief gives me a solid excuse to be even more taciturn and aloof. The sheer awkward ineptitude of such generic, prepackaged attempts at sympathy almost makes me laugh, if anything. But I do find myself gritting my teeth when my vet, who I consider to be a friend, always whispers “Now you’re at peace” to them. No, he’s dead. He’s not anything. No more, bereft of life, an ex-dog. Peace has nothing to do with it. There’s only me and the maelstrom of emotions, warlike in their intensity, that rush to fill the sudden void.