Goals in added on time from substitute Albert Adomah and Tammy Abraham ensured Villa recorded a sixth straight win after John McGinn had cancelled out Gary Hooper’s seventh minute opener.
The result leaves Wednesday in 12th position, six points adrift of Bristol City, who currently occupy the final play-off position, with six matches remaining.
“I looked at the other results and I shook my head when I saw them with everyone else not winning," said Bruce, who suffered his first defeat as Owls boss against his former club.
“You can never say never, but six points is probably going to be too much to make up with six games to go, but you can’t give up the ghost."
Wednesday ran riot in the second half and created plenty of opportunities, including a penalty from Steven Fletcher that was saved by Jed Steer.
But Adomah and Abraham's goals in the ‘92nd’ and ‘94th’ minutes sentenced the Owls to their first home defeat since November.
Bruce said: “The way we went about our work today was admirable. And they needed and deserved a break.
“A result would have put us right in amongst it, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be.
“We gave ourselves a chance and we won’t give up just yet.
“I don’t think many people would have thought it would be possible when I walked through the door. We were looking over our shoulders.”