This week, an online friend of mine lost her beloved dog. I am aware that this holds a different level of import for all people. But for those of us, myself included, who have opened our hearts to our dogs as family members – as our children – this grief can be overwhelming.
I often wake in the night wondering how I will cope when the time comes for one of my three. Dixon, Dapple and Poppy have been beloved members of my family since the day they set their first precious paw through my front door and, while I know there must be love greater than I feel for these wonderful creatures, I struggle to conceive what that might be, or how I will cope with the pain of losing any of these treasured members of my household.
People involved with the animal world – most particularly the dog world of rescue or breeding – speak often of the Rainbow Bridge. We comfort each other over the loss of our dogs with the idea of a place on the other side of ‘here and now’ where owners will reunite with their departed pets who wait for them faithfully. To me, this place sounds like heaven. Perfection. Love in its fullest. When writing the books of Prism, I’ve tried to create a perfect world – the sort of world I would inhabit if I could create a world that reflected my own picture of perfection. Yet even in Prism, people die, families are separated and loved ones lost. Having recently finished Book 2, The Deeper Darkness, I am now about to commence Book 3 – Phantism – and during that book a sequence of loss will occur that will show the frailties that exist, even in Prism. Joy – bounded.
But what if I could create a world where we, and those we loved, lived forever? What if we knew joy – unbounded? Love unending, health unlimited and life eternal? What if? What if all the things we loved and valued were never lost, never broken, never sullied? What if I opened my eyes each morning to the most glorious red and white face in the entire world, the deepest brown eyes, the silkiest ears, and my face covered with canine kisses? What if the air was clean, the water pure, the view clear and sparkling, and my day filled with joy, laughter, and all the people I loved most in the world? Where is the world with no pain, no death and no separation? I want that world. I want that world with all my heart. And right at the very front – between the welcoming gates – I would place a bridge with a rainbow stretched from end to end that connected – not this life and the next – but, rather, now and now, with no sense of separation. Joy – unbounded.
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:1-3