Author: Deonne at Green Meadow Memorials
The death of a family pet is never easy. Whether they’ve been with you for years, or only recently joined you, they make a significant impact on the lives of you and your family. As such, it’s only natural that you want to bid them farewell in a way that does justice to the love and joy they brought into your home.
However, it’s not always easy to know how to go about doing this. While our society has built traditions and even industries surrounding human memorials, there is still a big gap when it comes to our pets.
Let’s take a look at a few elements that can help you create the best memorial for your pet.
1) Design a Unique Service
The best memorial begins by crafting the right dedication service. This isn’t necessarily the same thing as a funeral, but rather a gentle opportunity for you and your family to honor your pet. As such, it’s important that the whole family should feel involved. The good thing about a pet memorial service is that they aren’t constrained by many of the traditions that the human versions are. This means you and your family can make it truly unique to reflect who your pet was and the place they held in your lives.
You can each spend a little time sharing a favorite story about them, perhaps write a poem or a song to express how you feel. If your pet was known throughout the neighborhood, invite some of your local friends to come along and pay tribute. Though it is a sad situation, it can be better not to treat it in a morbid fashion. Make it a celebration of their life, as well as a point that you’re able to move on from.
2) Create a Physical Representation
Creating a physical memorial serves an important purpose. It isn’t the same as creating a shrine, as this can put an unhealthy amount of focus on your passed pet in a way that stops you from moving forward. Rather, it should act as a small and personal focal point at which you and your family can spend time when you want to recall a happy memory of your companion.
This could take various forms. Some people find it appropriate to include the remains of their passed animals, usually contained within pet urns. These also have the advantage of being small, and easily personalizable. Some people prefer something more practical — installing a bench or an engraved stepping stone in the garden.
It doesn’t have to be complicated, either. Just a decorative box containing some photographs, a favorite toy, and a loved blanket can make a memorial collection that you can bring out on your pet’s birthday and share with your family in celebration of them. If you have younger children, this can also be a positive direction for the energy of their grief, and a way to help them feel involved in the process.
3) Find the Perfect Space
The best memorial requires the right space for it to inhabit. Your approach here will really depend on how you plan on using it. Are you looking for an area to house a memorial permanently? Or do you need to find a location to hold a small memorial service?
With regard to the former, it may be the case that you are burying your pet. It is usually perfectly legal to do so in your own garden, but often there are distancing regulations between property lines that you must abide by. In regard to a service, you don’t need to go all-out and hire a venue. Rather, gather at a favourite park or walking spot, share some memories and perhaps scatter a small amount of their ashes. Consider choosing a spot that your family can return to each year and pay your respects.
Creating a memorial for a beloved pet is a deeply personal process. Not only is it a way to bid a fond farewell, it’s also a chance to channel your grief in a positive and loving way. There’s no traditionally right way to go about it, but with some focus on the service, the representation, and the location, you can be off to a good start.