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  • Writer's pictureDr. Karin

7 Ways to Memorialize a Pet - From Pain to Peace

For some, thinking about the loss of a beloved pet can be enough to throw them into the doldrums of sadness and grief. It's the lump in your throat, the thing that makes your stomach turn, the source of why your head hurts. Emotional and psychological pain can become a physical ailment. It is important to work through the loss, however, and not push it aside or put it on a shelf for another day. There are small things you can do to work through the emotion of loss, memorialization of the loved pet is one of those.

Memorialization of a pet includes honoring, commemorating or admiring the life of your friend. It can be performed in many ways and can have a healing effect, softening the pain and allowing room for peace. Here are some ideas for how you can memorialize your pet and start down the road toward more healing and peace.

1. Have a funeral or honoring ceremony. This can be done with your pet's deceased body, with an urn containing their ashes or you can use a favorite picture of your pet as the centerpiece. Surround the dedicated space with candles, flowers, other pictures of your pet that include you, family or friends. Include toys, collar, leashes or anything that brought your pet joy. Play favorite music, read a poem or observe the silence.

2. Create a scrapbook, a photo journal or a video journal. Putting together reminders of happier times in one place can be cathartic and soothing, even bringing laughter as you do it. This is a great way to get kids involved in working through their grief. The end result is a beautiful memorial that you can return to again and again.

3. Plant something, anything! A tree, shrub or flowers that will give you something to care for and encourage you to remember the life of your pet. There are even memorial/living urns in which you can incorporate your pet's ashes into the soil and use this mix to help nourish a newly planted tree.

4. Bubble launch. Watching lightweight objects float in the air can bring a sense of calm and the feeling of a weight being lifted. The visual of iridescent bubbles disappearing into the sky may be uplifting to your soul, as well. Avoid balloons and lanterns, even those marketed as biodegradable, as they are still a hazard to wildlife, especially in our oceans.

5. Jewelry. There are many items in which your pet's ashes can be incorporated and jewelry is one of those that can help keep your pet close to you while honoring their life.

6. Plan a fundraiser. Either online or in-person, collecting donations for a cause that is important to you, while honoring your pet, can help remind you of the good in the midst of grief.

7. Paw prints, ink prints and tattoos. Imprints, photos and body art can be interchangeable these days. Some companies are able to use special apps that allow a picture of paw print to be turned into a beautiful piece of jewelry, a paw imprint or paw or nose ink print can, in turn, be used to create a beautiful work of art in the form of a tattoo. The possibilities are endless.

Subscribe to our news letter for more information about grieving the loss of your pet.

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