The Cherries looked set to clinch promotion in style by adding the league crown after a goalless draw at Tranmere, only for James Coppinger's last-minute goal for Doncaster away at Brentford to turn things sour for Howe's men and give Rovers the title.
But while the overriding feeling was one of disappointment, Howe is adamant the club must remain positive after promotion to the second flight for only the second time in their history.
He said: "The ups and downs in football are unbelievable. We have achieved promotion and we need to keep our perspective on that but we were desperate to take the title and we did everything but score.
"The lads played some excellent football and to miss out on the title in this way is the cruellest way it could possibly have happened.
"We did everything but win the game but we have achieved something that this football club has only ever achieved once before.
"This club has come so far from a few months ago. If someone had told me then that we would miss out on the title on the last day of the season I wouldn't have believed them.
"I am very pleased with the effort of the lads and I want them to celebrate their achievement because when we look back on this we can be absolutely delighted.
"But at the moment we feel like we have lost and there is a negative feeling around the dressing room."