We are India's first and only non-profit organization supporting grieving companion animal parents in India and worldwide, helping them navigate through companion animal loss.

A burning issue that many of us do not know what to do about, is life after the loss of a beloved companion animal, whether he/she lived with us at home or we cared for them on the streets. It becomes more difficult when there is just no resolution if their status remains missing or if we were not around when they left for the hereafter. While we knew they had come with a very short life span; whether the loss was untimely or advanced age-related, or if the tough decision to let them go with dignity had to be taken, we are never really ready to lose an integral part of us that is never going to come back. Then, more often than not, there are those ifs and buts that creep in, which may or may not have changed the outcome, but they consume us in the form of guilt, the most predominant emotion that we go through after losing a companion animal.

For the fear of being judged or ridiculed because companion animal loss is a disenfranchised form of grief, wherein we have failed to accord the respect of equality the human-animal bond deserves, or because the loss is just too fresh or personal to be spoken, most of us live with our grief of loss in silence. This deafening silence on our part further pushes the conversation around ‘grief of loss of a companion animal from being labelled as normal.

Then, there are some insensitive remarks, although not always with the intent to hurt (let us pardon those who mean our good), we have to deal with, “That was just a dog/cat/bird/rabbit/fish/duck/squirrel/donkey/calf, get a new one.” “But, had it not lived its age already?” “It has already been quite some time, forget it.” Whatever be the time lapse, the wound is always going to remain raw – just as in case of loss in our human relationships is, an irreplaceable one. Maybe, the only thing that time will do, is dull the sharp pain and make it bearable. After all, the bond was an emotional investment nurtured with unconditional love.

So, how does one navigate through the loss? We need to accept that it is absolutely alright to grieve the loss, regardless of the opinions we may be surrounded with, so let us stop fearing being judged and affected by that. Then, bereavement is a process which is not time bound at all. There is just no shortcut or a ‘how to’ it. We have to navigate through the stages of grief and eventually aim for resolution to open our heart to love once again and memorialise the departed companion animal. There is always light at the end of the tunnel.

Bridging Rainbows is a place to accord the respect the human-animal bond deserves, to share the unspoken emotion, aimed to sow more seeds of compassion. Bridging Rainbows, considers all the animals as equals. Our emotional bond is not only limited to the homed animals, but also for the ones we have cared for on the streets, loved them as much and their loss is no different from that of pets. Thus, Bridging Rainbows also includes the stray animals, birds, homed animals (pets) and covers those who have crossed the rainbow bridge, and also the ones who went missing and were never found.

A first of its kind in India, Bridging Rainbows normalises the conversation around mental health and emotional well-being after the loss of companion animals (homed as well as un-homed).

Join our multiple endeavours aimed at helping you navigate through the loss.

Disclaimer: None of the endeavours are a substitute for professional mental health services.

You are a very private person and we respect that. The loss of your companion animal is just too fresh or way too personal to open up at this point. The loss of the companion animal is a mere physical separation, the love and bond will always live on. Please try to introspect to take the first step towards resolution. In not speaking and opening up, even to our own self, is our loss and that of those whose lives are connected with us.

  1. Scribble down the pain of loss on a piece of paper, just for your own self.
  2. Try talking to a friend who will be empathetic to you.
  3. Have you cried yet? If not, please do, regardless of your gender. It helps. They are the healing tears.
  4. Consider writing a letter to your companion animal.
  5. Ponder over how this companion animal walked into your life?
  6. Which is the happiest memory you have with your companion animal? Do you have a picture or a video? If yes, please have a look at it. If not, it is absolutely fine. You just need to replay it in your mind as a beautiful memory.
  7. What did your companion animal teach you that no one else ever could?
  8. Your companion animal is watching over you hoping you will take very good care of yourself and honour his/her life. What all out of the following would you do to celebrate his/her life?
    1. Let the earth be greener, plant a sapling, nurture and name after your companion animal.
    2. Consider turning vegetarian or a vegan?
    3. Shun plastic for life.
    4. Put a water bowl for birds and other animals and ensure to clean and fill it up every day (there is no greater community service than quenching the thirst).
    5. Become a vocal supporter of normalising the loss of companion animals.
    6. Consider penning a book or a photo book.
    7. Open a sensitisation and compassion club named after your companion animal.
    8. Take up the responsibility (feed-sterilise-vaccinate-feed) to look after one stray on the roads for his/her entire lifetime.
    9. Help put an end to the Indian puppy mill system (stray mother dogs allowed to deliver litter after litter, instead of timely sterilisation) by actively engaging in sterilisation, creating rabies free zones – the most soul satisfying service.
    10. Foster a needy animal, when you are ready (please do not throw him/her away one day if he/she does not get a home).
    11. There is still a lot of love and place in your heart. When the time is right, adopt an abandoned or orphaned dog/cat from a shelter or the streets with a promise for a lifetime to keep (let us not insult any life form by buying them, exception is, buying to save a life from further misery and cruelty).
    12. Bring home a senior stray dog/cat (they are the most marginalised, let us make their remaining time a little memorable and dignified. Serving them brings immense peace).
    13. Start an awareness group in the name of your companion animal to highlight and sensitise about the issue of climate change.
    14. Gift a book(s) on animals to children to sow more seeds of compassion.
    15. Sponsor a child’s education in the name of your companion animal.
  9. Pen a remembrance and share it with us to be featured on Bridging Rainbows.
  10. If you seek the company of those who understand where you come from, consider joining the Bridging Rainbows support group . – hyperlink with support group
  11. If you want to talk it out with a pet loss grief specialist, reach out to us at info@bridgingrainbows.org

Share the beauty of the bond with your companion animal. Have the memories and the never ending goodness of your animal companion to celebrate and share? Please write to us at info@bridgingrainbows.org

Maybe years, months or days ago, you lost a beloved companion animal. While the loss will always remain painful, you collected yourself and channelled your grief of loss constructively. What helped you cope? Please share your experience to inspire others. Or You just allowed time to help you travel through that crisis period. As you navigated through the loss, what brought you out of the darkness? Please share your inspirational stories of healing and coping by writing to us at info@bridgingrainbows.org

If you are here, it is likely that the time you are left with your companion animal (homed or un-homed) is unfortunately limited. We feel your pain.

A sudden diagnosis of a terminal illness in our beloved companion animal (whether homed or un-homed) throws our world upside down. There is shock, denial, disbelief and we try to figure out what we can do to prolong the life of our companion animal whose days with us are numbered. We bargain, we try to reason out, and we do all in our capacity for a miracle to happen. It is foolish to say we will prepare ourselves for the loss because we never can. Anticipatory grief of the impending loss of companion animals is a terrible feeling that so many of us go through. While we cannot undo what is written in destiny, we certainly can come together in the hour of need to give you the strength you need to make the most of the time you are left with your companion animal.

The anticipatory grief support group meetings (a first of its kind in India for fellow Indians and compassionate people abroad) are held every third Sunday of the month at 2030 hours Indian Standard Time (IST). We bridge time zones too, so you are most welcome to join us from any corner of the world.

The meetings are moderated by Dr. Kuhu Roy, India’s first pet loss grief specialist.

To join the anticipatory grief support group, please write to us at info@bridgingrainbows.org Please do mention your name and also the context in regard to which you would like to attend the anticipatory grief support group meeting.

We stand united together with you. No one ever should suffer in silence!

Rules and regulations

  1. Participation is free of cost, as it is a social service in honour of beloved rescued dog daughter, Butter.
  2. A maximum of six participants will be considered for one meet.
  3. No racist, religious, casteist, sexist and political content will be entertained, failing which you will be barred from participating in any of the activities of ‘Bridging Rainbows.’
  4. ‘Bridging Rainbows’ expects from its participants to maintain confidentiality about the conversations that take place in the support group meeting.
  5. The founders of Bridging Rainbows, moderators and the participants will only be responsible for their views and actions and not for anyone else.
  6. Please obtain parental consent for participation if you are aged under 18 years and ensure to bring your parent along for the meet.

Losing a beloved companion animal is a challenging phase to navigate through. The company of kindred souls who understand where we come from, helps give strength and courage. The companion animal loss support group meetings (a first of its kind in India for fellow Indians and compassionate people abroad) are held every second and fourth Sunday of the month at 2030 hours Indian Standard Time (IST). We bridge time zones too, so you are most welcome to join us from any corner of the world.

The meetings are moderated by Dr. Kuhu Roy, India’s first pet loss grief specialist.

To join the anticipatory grief support group, please write to us at info@bridgingrainbows.org Please do mention your name and also the context in regard to which you would like to attend the anticipatory grief support group meeting.

We stand united together with you. No one ever should suffer in silence!

Rules and regulations

  1. Participation is free of cost, as it is a social service in honour of beloved rescued dog daughter, Butter.
  2. A maximum of six participants will be considered for one meet.
  3. No racist, religious, casteist, sexist and political content will be entertained, failing which you will be barred from participating in any of the activities of ‘Bridging Rainbows.’
  4. ‘Bridging Rainbows’ expects from its participants to maintain confidentiality about the conversations that take place in the support group meeting.
  5. The founders of Bridging Rainbows, moderators and the participants will only be responsible for their views and actions and not for anyone else.
  6. Please obtain parental consent for participation if you are aged under 18 years and ensure to bring your parent along for the meet.

Those who are profoundly and excessively bonded to their companion animals may feel the need to speak out to a pet loss grief specialist (PLGS) to help them navigate through the loss.

There should be no shame in doing so. Matters of emotional well-being deserve as much attention when it comes to being healthy in the true sense. The role of a PLGS is to guide you through the loss, to make you understand that the array of emotions one goes through are normal and that sooner or later, one can reach a resolution and open the heart once again to love and move forward to memorialize the departed companion animal.

Reach out to India’s first pet loss grief specialist for a session to help you navigate through the loss of a companion animal (homed or un-homed). It may please be noted that this is not a service by a mental health professional, but by a trained pet loss grief specialist who can only guide you through the loss of your companion animal. Any other mental health conditions or underlying distress factors that may have been triggered by the loss of a companion animal, do not come under the ambit of a pet loss grief specialist. Under such circumstances, it is advisable to consult a licensed mental health professional at the earliest.

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