I attended a virtual symposium on Animal Communication recently and the subject of "the Rainbow Bridge" came up. Most of us have heard about it, and those that have heard about it take great comfort knowing that our beloved animal companions have a place to go after they pass from this life. Poems have been written about it and people often hashtag RainbowBridge when they post about the loss of their companion. What I am about to say is not only my opinion but also information I received from the animals whom I have communicated with once they crossed over.
First, I would like to recap what we hear about the Rainbow Bridge. To some, it is a bridge from this world to the afterlife made up of a rainbow. To others, it is an actual wooden bridge that follows the rainbow to the afterlife. Either way, it is what connects this world to the afterlife. Many people describe it as the place where animals go once they pass, but seldom do people describe the area around the bridge. Are we to believe all animals hang out on this bridge indefinitely? Also, in the stories, it is for animals only; however, the stories also tell us that the animals wait for their humans there so they may greet us when we pass. This is a bit confusing. Is it for animals only? Do they greet us and then leave us? Readers, I know you may be thinking I am ruining a beautiful place but bare with me. I am actually going to answer these questions and make what is beautiful even more spectacular! The best part of what I am about to relay is that it has been confirmed to me by a variety of species with whom I have had the pleasure to communicate!
As a side note, religions have a place for the deceased to go to "rest". The Vikings called it Valhalla; Christians call it Heaven; other religions and belief systems call it Seven Heavens, pure lands, Tian, Jannah, or Summerland. Whether or not animals are allowed to be where humans go after death, depends on the religion. This was an interesting article on that subject: https://qz.com/311346/pope-francis-says-all-pets-go-to-heaven-but-what-do-other-religions-say/
So, what have I seen or heard from animals I have communicated with during their transition and after? The most beautiful place I could ever imagine does not come close to what I saw! I will refer to it from now as JOY, because that is what my dog called it. The Rainbow Bridge is just that, a bridge that connects this world to the afterlife. I have seen it as a wooden bridge, a mossy bridge, a bridge made of tree roots, and a cobblestone bridge. However I saw it, it was beautiful and as short or long as was needed by the animal who was crossing it. The rainbow grew brighter and more colorful as it neared JOY. The air grew sweeter and "lighter" and everything was more colorful and crisp with each step closer to JOY. At the base of the bridge on JOY's side, there are animals that greet the newcomers. Some animals hesitate and that is ok. No one is rushed. The Greeters will hang out with the newcomers for as long as they want. Once the animals are ready, they are escorted further into JOY. Each step they take elevates their soul and all physical, mental, and emotional ailments dissipate. " Behind Athena, I could see Roxie and her puppies. There were a lot of animals of every kind roaming around. They were all happy and joyful. The skies looked beautiful. The grass was green and vibrant. Green. I could see everything in color now!....... All the animals made happy sounds. There were so many, but it was not noisy or crowded."(FindingJoy: A Dog's Tale, 2020, pg. 194).
Humans and animals are together. They are not tethered to each other; they can move around freely. Since there are no human emotions lingering in JOY (jealousy, envy, fear) everyone is happy. They find whoever they want to spend time with by thinking of them. Everyone has access to everyone and love is bountiful. In one surprising conversation with Little Bear after his passing, he said " There were humans here too. The humans lived in the center of Joy. They were reunited with everyone special in their life! The animals could roam freely between the outside and the inside circle to visit humans. When I remembered this, I went to the middle to look for Grandma. I found her almost immediately." (Finding Joy: A Dog's Tale, 2020, pg. 202)
However you picture the bridge, it is a consistent theme with the human's version of entering the pearly gates. Something must be crossed in order to enter somewhere new. Animals and humans alike are greeted by loved ones. Those unfortunate souls that did not experience love on earth, are still greeted by souls who chose to take on this role to fulfill or extend their purpose. No one is alone. Everyone feels love. All beings return to Source, which is where we all come from. Source. Energy. We are all connected. The Rainbow Bridge helps us return.