Originally Posted by fleetfish
(Maybe this can be made a sticky?)
Every day, in aquariums, pet stores, and private homes, fish pass away, often times largely unnoticed. Many suffered in their last days or hours, grappling with disease, being attacked by tankmates, or having their bodies trapped against filters when they grew too weak to swim. So few fish have lived well on this earth, being used as decorations or disposable pets instead of being recognized as the special individuals that each of them are.
Thankfully for them, there is a better place.
We've all heard about the Rainbow Bridge, where dogs and cats and other pets cross over into the next life, where they run and play healthy and whole until their special person comes to retrieve them one day. What most people do not know is that there is a beautiful, flowing creek running under the Rainbow Bridge, leading to many vast lakes, swamps, rivers, and even oceans, where fish can live in bliss and harmony after what is all too often a short life of suffering.
You see, when a fish passes away, his spirit leaves the pain of his body and enters warm, flowing waters. There, he finds himself whole; tattered fins are restored, fungus-clogged gills are free and functional, open wounds are healed, and "pinecone" scales lay flat. There are other fish there, but none of them chase, nip fins, or threaten. The current is never too strong, the water temperature is always just right, and there and plants and rocks to hide amongst - not that there is anything to fear. Social fish swim close with their peers, while solitary species always have enough space for comfort. They all travel through these peaceful waters in one great school towards their destination.
Eventually, the waters of the creek are illuminated with the technicolor glow of the beautiful rainbow arching high above. Cats, dogs, rabbits - every animal you can imagine - cavorts above them, but the fish needn't fear predation or harm. As they flow beneath the rainbow, they come to a crossroads; little streams leading to the ideal habitat of each species. There are warm stretches of rice paddies for the bettas. There are cool, vegetated ponds for the goldfish and koi. Bright, welcoming reefs greet the oceanic fish, and warm, freshwater ponds, rivers, and creeks spread wide for the tropical species.
The fish huddle at the cross-roads tentatively, nervous of what awaits them next. Maybe some are unused to wide spaces; others have never seen their natural habitat. Some are afraid larger fish will eat them if they break away from the group. But finally, one will swim forwards. His fins will wriggle with excitement, and he will zip through the water gleefully, towards his new home in the next life. There, he will find others of his kind, though a fight will never occur. Food will be plentiful and living, not freeze-dried or pelleted. There will be no harsh lights or noisy filters, because the waters here are always ideal for their inhabitants.
And perhaps, if the fish had a special someone who cared in their life, that person will one day sit by the lake or shore or riverbed, where he or she will be recognized by a beloved pet. A flick of the fins and a friendly snout poking through the water's surface will reunite the two at last, with the message passed between them:
It's all going to be okay now...
~ Author Unknown