What is a Rainbow Bridge Ceremony?
I am often asked by people what is a Rainbow Bridge Ceremony? Inspired by the Norse poem the Rainbow Bridge is a place where our pets go when they are no longer with us. I find it very comforting to think that there will be a time when I can be with all my pets forever.
The time of their parting is over at last.
The sadness they felt while they were apart,
Has turned into joy once more in each heart.
They embrace with a love that will last forever,
And then, side-by-side, they cross over… together.
You can read the full version here.
The Rainbow Bridge Ceremony is simply a way to celebrate the life of your pet. There are no rules, it is just a celebration of all that they mean to you and so you can do anything that will help you remember all the good times that you shared. If you want to make it a grand affair then go for it! If you want to do something simple and elegant it is your choice, the important thing to bear in mind is that it is part of the healing process. It must work for you and their memory.
If you read our FREE pet bereavement guide you will see that doing something meaningful with the ashes of your dog, cat, horse, rabbit, gerbil…can be immensely soothing. A ceremony won’t bring them back but it will mark the life that they lived. It can be really good to remember all the good times that you shared. To reflect on all their unique personality traits, the comfort and love and joy that they brought into your life.
Preparing your Rainbow Bridge Ceremony
Firstly you will need to think about where you are going to have your ceremony. Is there a favourite spot in the garden? Perhaps there was a favourite place where you walked together? Is there a place that you like to go that makes you feel happy, a beach or a hill with a great view? Finding a location is good starting point. Being able to go somewhere and be able to think about them will be important later on.
Are you going to do this alone or are their other family members or friends who would appreciate being part of the ceremony? If you are going to invite people do make sure you give them plenty of time to arrange their diary. If you are having the ceremony at home then you’ll need to make sure you have enough space, you might want to think about parking if people are travelling to your home. If you are going to walk to a favourite spot you might want to let people know in advance so that they can pack appropriate coats/walking boots/umbrella.
You might want to think about preparing some tea and cake for afterwards or maybe even visit a local cafe. I am a true believer that cake and a cup of tea is always an essential element of any gathering!
What are you going to say at your rainbow bridge ceremony? You don’t need to prepare a huge long speech but it can be a good idea to think about what you would like to say write it down. Writing down some of your favourite memories that you would like to share is a great way to give your pet the love and respect they deserve. It can also be very helpful to have something to prompt you if you get a little emotional, it can be very grounding.
What are you going to do with their ashes?
Do you want to bury the ashes [you can find out more about burying your pet’s ashes here]? Are you going to scatter all the ashes or just a token amount? It is worthwhile taking the time to do some research and work out what is going to be best in the long run for you and them. Will you want to be able to visit the spot in the future? If so make sure it is somewhere that it will always be possible. If you are going to do it in the garden think about the possibility that you might move house at some point. There are lots of great garden urns that can move with you so that you can take them to a new home.
Making your Rainbow Bridge Ceremony Special
It can be a really lovely idea to get everyone involved in the ceremony by giving them petals to throw at a particular point in the ceremony. Wildflower seeds are another great option.
If you are a little bit stuck please don’t worry, we’ve put everything you need into a simple and easy to use Rainbow Bridge Ceremony Set complete with a guide and lots of ideas to make your gathering as unique as they were.
Keeping some ashes for a memento
Here are some other great ideas that you can do with a small amount of their ashes that will help you to remember them in a special way:
If you would like a copy of our Rainbow Bridge Ceremony Guide send me an email and I’ll email you a copy email@example.com