Memorializing a deceased pet are an immeasurably valuable way to help as you journey through the grief of pet loss. Although there is no set path to take and everyone’s experience with mourning is unique to them, a pet memorial that can bring you comfort and closure. Here are some ideas to consider:
A Funeral, Service, or Obituary
Just as you would for the death of a human friend or family member, memorial services, funerals, and obituaries are rituals we go through because they bring closure, help us to relive fond memories, and show respect for the love that you shared. While pet weddings and birth announcements are all just for fun, a memorial service or funeral is a serious and respectable decision if it feels right for you.
A lot of us find comfort in tangible items that we can look at, hold, or find comfort in knowing they exist. There are a lot of options on out there - everything from jewelry made with your pet’s pawprint to decorative urns to memory boxes with important photos and items to cherish. If a memento like this feels right for you, the possibilities are endless.
Tap into your creative side to memorialize your pet. Writing, visual art, and song are all very uniquely human expressions and can be very helpful in the grieving process. Write down your favorite memories in a journal, paint or draw them, or come up with a little melody for them. These creations don’t have to be for anyone but you if you choose and can be very cathartic.
A Place of Reflection
A very popular option is to create some sort of site in memory of a pet. You can purchase a site at a pet cemetery or plant a garden for them in your yard. Your site can include commemorative stones or plaques, or nothing at all. This outdoor space is yours to sit and reflect about all the love you shared with your pet.
An Act of Kindness
A lot of people find comfort through kind acts. Donating to a charity or animal welfare organization may bring you comfort by being a part of a greater goal and helping others. Acts of kindness can be small like supplying a few tennis balls at the dog park in memory of your tennis ball-loving dog, or something big such as sponsoring the adoption fees for a cat at your local shelter.
Remember, our pets are some of our truest friends and coping with their passing may be different for everyone. Taking time to memorialize your pet in any of the ways mentioned above can be a valuable step in the healing journey, helping you to process your grief and to cherish the bond you shared.