The Rainbow Bridge
No. It couldn’t be.
Lilian lay beneath the covers, trying to sob the world away.
Why?! Why?! I wanted him there forever!
But all the universe gave her was a tear soaked bed sheet. Lilian knew she should be strong – strong for her brother, strong for her family, but now she just wanted to curl up in a ball and hide somewhere far away. She cleared her throat, holding in the new wave of tears that wanted to come out. She tried to steady herself. She tried to breathe deeply. She wiped her eyes. Lilian turned toward the door, tears slowly creeping down her cheeks.
* * *
Lilian slowly walked through the forest. Only days had passed since her Grandfather had… no, not died… left…
She couldn’t bear to think of him… dead…
The forest seemed to mourn with her. The ballads of the birds were songs of sorrow, the leaves crunching was the earth crying. Even the trees seemed to whisper in the wind, weeping for the lost. To Lilian, the world was mourning with her, the trees, the flowers, the stones, the animals…
What am I going to do? She thought, sitting down on a rock, wishing it had all been a dream. It had felt like a dream, her mother had picked up the phone, waited in silence, then a sudden gasp, then “no!”.
Lilian had told herself: It’s all right, the caretakers are only calling for the general reasons.
But she had felt a sudden feeling of dread when her mother slowly put the phone down. The news was like a knife, it struck the heart and broke it. She was not sure it could ever be mended. She did not know where she was going, she did not care. It mattered no more. And as Lilian walked the sorrowful ballads of the birds rang through the forest, the earth sobbed, and the trees mourned. They seemed do so as she walked forward, toward a clearing. The sky was overcast – even the sky was sad. Lilian walked onward, ignoring the fact that she would be late for dinner, nothing mattered anymore but the mournful chorus by her and the forest. And as she did this, she remembered a story that her Grandfather had liked. The story said that when someone died, they would walk on a rainbow bridge and meet their dogs. A tear escaped her eye, he had loved dogs, they had been his greatest companions…
Lilian loved dogs too. The trees seemed to let another breeze of sorrow loose at the memory of her Grandfather’s old black lab.
Maybe he’s with his dog right now, she thought, sitting on the rainbow bridge, looking down upon the world.
She wiped her eyes as she sat down on the soft grass in the clearing. The soft breeze blew the whisps of hair like tendrils of smoke. Lilian stared up at the sky, wondering if her grandfather really was sitting on the rainbow bridge with his beloved black lab. She stood up, the breeze’s mourning seemed to be quieter, the crying of the leaves was quieter too. Curious, Lilian looked around. The wind seemed to be dying down. She started running up the hill, wondering what had lifted the forest’s mourning. When she reached the top, she saw nothing out of the ordinary.
It must be something, she told herself.
Then she looked up.
A rainbow painted an expansive arch across the sky. The sky was clearing, she could now see a second rainbow. Lilian looked upon the rainbow bridge in awe. She reached out as if to touch it.
“Hello Grandpa” She said. “I’m glad to see you”
The rainbow bridge seemed to glow at these words. Lilian’s lips formed into a smile, a smile of a mended heart.