Many words are used to convey ways of coping with loss of a beloved pet such as grief support, pet memorial and remembrance. The truth is that it hurts, no matter what. In the hours and days following a beloved pet’s death, you have an opportunity to create your kind of pet memorial. It’s a window of time that will help your healing when you honor yourself and your pet.
Rituals, such as funerals and memorials, have been proven to be human needs and have been in existence for thousands of years. There is an innate purpose to finding a special way to honor someone who has died, both human and animal.
How to remember a pet
There are as many ways of remembering as there are people. For a pet parent who deeply loved an animal the choices are many. But of top-of-mind importance is that you think about your kind of pet memorial — what will make you feel the most comforted in your own remembrance of your special dog, cat, bird, ferret, hedgehog, horse, alpaca, guinea pig, mouse, rat, chinchilla, pig, cow, snake, hamster and virtually every kind of animal put on earth that you may love.
Memorial services and home-created-pet-memorials allow us to grieve the passing of our loved ones while also celebrating the life they lived. They provide us with the opportunity to cope with loss and begin the understanding of knowing they are really gone, before we can find the closure we need. The pain will lessen with time; but the memory will never go away.
Why shouldn’t we remember our beloved pets just like we would a human? Most people say the pain they feel from losing their pet is equivalent to losing a child. In the United States, this is a common understanding for the majority of pet owners who view their pet as a special being — not a ‘less than’ creature — but a part of the family.
Pets give years of joy, unconditional love and even alleviate stress. So how will you remember and take care of your animal when the time comes?
Many people choose pet cremation which provides many choices of where your pet will spend eternity — in the physical sense. There are many choices of pet cremation urns, paw prints and picture frames, jewelry keepsakes that hold a tiny portion of cremated ashes and even gemstones that can be made from ashes. Your pet’s life can be honored and remembered best by your choices.
Choose from the heart
The important thing is that you make your choice from your own heart and preference, and not allow anyone to push you into anything. You may like wood — and so desire a pretty wooden box urn. You may like the traditional style of metal urns. You may want to keep an old tennis ball, dirty and slimy, in a pet keepsake box along with a favorite photo and other toys your pet enjoyed. The sky is the limit in today’s market of pet industry products that are both creative and beautiful.
If you’re like most pet lovers, you may have the ashes of many pets at home in urn containers from the original pet crematory. There are pet urns called, “family urns”, in which you can place the ashes from many pets together. These urns can be personalized with each pet’s name and other identifying information, whether etched or engraved.
It is never too late to memorialize an animal. Sometimes during the acute pain of loss, it’s hard to decide what or where you want your pet’s remains to be. You can always feel free to look online or call a reputable pet crematory to look at options.
One woman we know had 16 sets of ashes from her beloved pets through the years. When she learned it wasn’t too late to put them together, she decided to have one final remembrance and place them together in a couple of family urns (they were small animals).
Whatever you decide, make sure it’s your kind of pet memorial. Burial, cremation, pet cemetery, scattering of ashes — there is no right or wrong and only preference based on your beliefs and love of your pet. Choosing your pet’s final disposition and resting place is a personal decision. Remembrance of a beautiful animal whom you love, is forever.
For more pet loss support, read this article:
Top 5 Worst Things to Say to Someone Who Has Just Lost A Pet
Here is a detailed article about pet memorials and pet funerals you may like:
Why Have A Pet Memorial or Pet Funeral?
If you need help grieving the loss of your animal companion, no matter how small the pet, here is a list of free resources to help you:
Pet Loss Support and Pet Loss Resources
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