For devoted pet parents, the death of a pet is devastating, and we grieve the loss of our furry family member in much the same way that we would mourn for a human. And why shouldn’t we? Our pets are an important part of our lives. They share our joys and comfort us when we’re sad, and when we lose them they leave a void that’s impossible to fill.
Grieving for a pet is natural and even healthy. Although the initial intensity subsides, for some it may take months, or even years, to move through the grieving process. Finding meaningful ways to remember and honor our pet is an important step in beginning to heal.
6 Ways to Honor a Pet on World Pet Memorial Day
In 2016, World Pet Memorial Day is on June 9. This is a special time to celebrate and remember the pets who have touched our lives. Here are a few ideas for creating the perfect pet memorial.
Write a Letter or Journal
Writing can be so therapeutic! Writing a letter to a pet we’ve lost or creating a journal of all of the things we loved about the pet and the special memories we shared can be a permanent reminder of the happiness our pet brought to our lives.
Create a Memorial On Social Media
A post on Facebook, Instagram, or another social media channel not only creates a digital memorial, but it also gives friends the chance to offer sympathy and support.
Planting a tree, a shrub, or even a whole garden in a pet’s memory can be so comforting. For those of us who are looking for a little more, companies like BioUrn and Pet Perennials incorporate a portion of a pet’s cremated remains in with the product to be planted.
Wear A Special Piece of Jewelry
Whether it’s a locket containing a photo or a tuft of fur, or a bracelet with our pet’s name engraved on it, a wearable memorial can give us the comfort of having a piece of our pet with us wherever we go.
An option that is similar to jewelry is “Rainbow Heartstrings,” a company that places a pet’s tag at the bottom of a customized strand of beads. The strand can be hung in a place that will help us remember and smile.
Make a Donation
Making a donation to a local animal rescue group or shelter is a great way to honor the life of a special pet. For anyone who has trouble making a monetary donation but still wants to give, volunteering is another way to help out.
Display a Picture
Putting up a favorite picture that captures what we loved so much about our pet can be a comforting reminder. Or, for those of us who feel like displaying our pet in a more artsy style, Leonardo’s Dogs creates custom tributes, incorporating a pet’s photo into a work of art done in the style of Leonardo Da Vinci.
For anyone who could use a little extra guidance in coping with the loss of a pet, the book, “Goodbye, Friend: Healing Wisdom for Anyone Who Has Ever Lost a Pet” by Gary Kowalski offers some beautiful and comforting advice.
Whether it’s World Pet Memorial Day or another day of our choosing, memorializing a pet can help us move beyond the grief and hold on to the happy memories. And as we begin to heal, we may find comfort in the fact that, although they are not with us anymore, their paw prints will always be in our hearts.