Rainbow Bridge Granite Pet Memorial Headstone

Written by
Kyle Sherman
Published on
March 15, 2022 at 8:00:00 AM PDT March 15, 2022 at 8:00:00 AM PDTth, March 15, 2022 at 8:00:00 AM PDT

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

Remember your cherished pet with a beautiful granite memorial. Your custom design is engraved on a 16″x10″x2″ black granite pet memorial headstone and can include your pet’s name, life dates, a special dedication and a favorite photo or pet clipart.

In addition, each headstone has this heartfelt poem engraved on one side:

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 …

Cult Popularity ~ Internet Phenomenon ~ Mysterious Origins

This poetic prose has become wildly popular the world over, and its story brings comfort and solace to pet owners who have lost a beloved albeit furry member of the family. Rainbow Bridge has also inspired pet grief support communities, virtual candlelight vigil prayer rooms and ceremonies, pet sympathy e-cards, memorial rainbow pet residencies and other virtual worlds devoted to grief support and the mythological Rainbow Bridge.

First written between 1980 and 1993, and first mentioned on the internet in 1993, the original author of the poem is uncertain, although three possible writers are often named as possibilities:

● Paul C. Dahm, a grief counselor from Oregon, who is said to have written the poem in 1981 and published it in a 1998 book of the same name.

● William N. Britton, author of Legend of Rainbow Bridge.

● Wallace Sife, head of the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement, whose poem, All Pets Go to Heavenappears in his book, The Loss of a Pet.

The poem is thought to be inspired by a Norse legend about a sacred bridge magically constructed from fire, water and air called Asabru that connects Midgard (the realm of humankind) with Asgard (the realm of the Gods). Also called Bifrost and known as the Rainbow Bridge, the Watchman God Heimdall stands guard over it night and day. With his trumpet called Giallar-horn, he blows a soft note to announce the comings and goings of the Gods.

The idea of a pet paradise where they wait for their human owners is also the stuff of Margaret Marshall Saunders’ book, Beautiful Joe’s Paradise. The animals enter Beautiful Joe’s Paradise by balloon rather than bridge and also recover from any mistreatment they may have endured in life.

Regardless of the mystery surrounding the poem, Rainbow Bridge endures as a touching remembrance for pet lovers everywhere.