Ritual and ceremony are the most common universal practices to memorialize the death of someone we love and can be valuable when there is an extreme burden of guilt or remorse about the death. Ceremony serves to draw the death into the present encouraging you to be more aware of the here and now and can be helpful for those who are having a difficult time accepting the death of their cherished companion animal. A Memorial service provides us the space to honor and respect our companion animals and the many ways they have graced our lives, provides a special time of honoring, reflection and healing that is so critical to our grieving process. Some ideas to commemorate and memorialize your companion animal are listed 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 of your beloved pet with a memorial stone.
Especially for children, write a letter and "send to heaven" if that is your spiritual belief.
Donate money to a cause or charity that has significance to your beloved pet.
If cremated, sprinkle your pet’s ashes in a special place.
Place a candle in the food bowl and light it during feeding times.
Place an indoor plant in your pet’s water bowl to symbolize your continued love.
Create a memorial photo album or scrape book as a special keepsake of memories.
Create a special box with 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.
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 the here and now.