Just as we engage in commemorative and memorial services for our human loved ones who have passed on, it is just as important to do so for our beloved companion animals. Paying tribute allows us the space to honor and respect our companion animals and provides a sacred time of reflection and healing that is so critical to our grieving process. Give yourself permission to commemorate and memorialize the life and love of your beloved pet with some of the ideas below:
- Hold a memorial service at a place special to your beloved pet where a poem, prayer or eulogy can be read.
- Have a butterfly release ceremony.
- Have a balloon release ceremony and write messages on the balloons.
- Plant a tree, bush, and/or create a memory garden with a memorial stone.
- Especially for children, write a letter to your pet and “send to heaven” if that is your spiritual belief.
- Donate money to a cause or charity that has significance to your and your beloved pet.
- If cremated, sprinkle your pet’s ashes in a special place.
- Place a candle in the food bowl and light during feeding times.
- Place an indoor plant in your pet’s water bowl with their collar to symbolize your continued love.
- Create a memorial photo album or scrape book as a special keepsake of memories.
- Create a memory box with special items belonging to your beloved pet.
- Have a piece of jewelry made from your pet’s ashes or photo.
- Volunteer at a Shelter to honor your pet’s memory. By helping those in need your pet continues to have a positive impact on the lives of those less fortunate.
- Create key chain from your pet’s tag as this was probably one of the first items you purchased for him or her.
- Tattoos can be a lifelong linking object that connects your to your beloved and reminds you of your special bond shared together.
Although these memorializing ideas are quite simple, their function is to create an avenue by which the memory you have and love you continue to feel is offered expression in a healthy and sustaining way. May you find peace and comfort in your tributes.