Memorials are the way we commemorate the important people, places, and events in our lives. We create memorials to honor our heroes and to mark our triumphs and tragedies. Memorials preserve our memories of our loved ones, for us and for future generations.
Since the dawn of time, societies have established memorials, and many grand memorials stand today as landmarks in our nation’s history – the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial, Mount Rushmore. The most poignant memorials, though, are those with a personal connection – the memorials that tell the story of your life.
When a pet dies, creating a special memorial to honor him is the most natural thing in the world. A pet memorial marks your pet’s special place in your heart; it can also help you find closure and allow you to begin to heal.
Some pet memorials are symbolic – a charitable deed, such as making a donation to an animal shelter or other animal cause, is a good example of a symbolic pet memorial. Planning a memorial ceremony or crafting a written tribute is a creative way to memorialize a pet, allowing you to express your emotions and proclaim the qualities that made your pet unique. Or you may find comfort in establishing a physical monument as a permanent reminder of your loyal and loving animal companion.
Following are ways to create a meaningful pet memorial. Perhaps you’ll find that combining two or more of them is the best way to memorialize your pet.
Choose a pet burial marker. If your pet is buried in your yard or in a pet cemetery, you may want to choose a pet burial marker to mark his grave. Pet burial markers lie flush with the ground and have room so the name of the pet, birth and death dates, or a quote or sentiment can be engraved or etched into the marker. Some pet burial markers also feature an image of the pet breed or room for a laser-etched image of the pet.
Hold a pet memorial ceremony. A brief ceremony to honor your pet is an ideal way to express your thoughts and feelings about your faithful friend. If you choose a physical pet memorial, you may want to hold a ceremony when you place the monument.
Choose a pet cremation urn. A photo pet urn, a pet cremation urn cast in the shape of an animal, or a pet urn bearing a picture of an animal will make an attractive memorial as well as a container to hold the cremated remains of your pet.
Select a pet memorial plaque or pet memorial stone. If you don’t wish to bury your pet in your yard or keep her ashes in your home, a pet memorial plaque or memorial stone makes a lovely indoor or outdoor pet memorial. Like pet burial markers, pet memorial plaques and pet memorial stones contain space to engrave your pet’s name or other text of your choosing.
Plant a living memorial. If your pet loved the outdoors, consider planting a tree or shrub in his memory. An engraved pet memorial stone placed near a living memorial makes an elegant tribute to your furry friend.
Wear pet cremation jewelry. Pet cremation jewelry is designed to hold a small portion of your pet’s ashes, allowing you to wear a reminder of your faithful companion close to your heart. New designs of pet cremation jewelry are being created all the time in response to the growing popularity of this very personal type of pet memorial.
Record your memories. Your memories of the joy your pet brought to your life are precious. Preserve them in words and photos – in a journal, an online tribute, or an original story about your pet. Your words and images will keep your memories alive and bring you comfort for years to come.
Make a donation. Besides donating to an organization that assists animals, consider donating animal books to your public or school library or establishing a fund at your veterinarian’s office to provide care for animals whose owners cannot afford to pay.
Feel free to share your thoughts on pet memorials. Has choosing memorial for your beloved pet helped you to cope with your grief? Can you think of other kinds of pet memorials we haven’t mentioned here?