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Honor and Remember Your Pet

Memorializing the pet who brought you joy is an important part of grief healing. After your pet’s death, find ways to honor and remember your companion animal’s life. Here are a few suggestions, but your own ideas always work best.

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A pet is never truly forgotten until it is no longer remembered. ~ Lacie Petitto

During their lives, we loved our pets. After their deaths, we can affirm this love. Finding ways to remember and honor our departed pets assists in the grieving process because grief rituals help us acknowledge and mourn the loss. They also symbolize what we cherish and want to keep in our hearts. Grief rituals bring us comfort as we commemorate the lives of our companion animals.


Here are eleven suggestions for honoring and remembering your pet:

1. Take a day, or part of a day, to honor your pet. Your best friend has died and you are grieving.


2. You may want to have a candlelight ceremony and recite poetry or prayer.


3. Plant a tree or rose bush in your pet’s honor.


4. Place a personalized memorial marker in your garden.


5. Volunteer at an animal shelter.


6. Display photos of your pet.


7. Create a scrapbook of memories.


8. Write a poem, draw, or paint a picture.


9. Donate to a humane organization. When my 16-year-old cat Sam died, I gave money to the shelter where I first met him as a tiny kitten.

10. One of the loveliest ideas for remembering another dear companion came from the veterinarian who helped him on his final journey. After Merlin died, the vet took a clay impression of my cat's huge paw. Before the clay dried, he pierced a hole in the impression with a toothpick so that a ribbon could slip through the top. I used a deep yellow ribbon to symbolize Merlin's golden fur. The paw print is among my most cherished ornaments.

11. You can also observe National Pet Remembrance Day on the second Sunday in September.


Two of my favorite poems:

Ode to I Ching
By Tony D'Agnese

Close your eyes now,
my longtime friend,
and let this
time of suffering
come to a peaceful end.
We'll walk together
soon, I'm sure,
as winter turns to spring,
when snow gives way
to budding leaves
and birds begin to sing.
The gentle breeze
shall call your name
along the water's edge.
For what you meant
and what we shared
shall never be forgot.
Your friendship spans
the years behind,
your memory ahead.
You'll always be
there next to me,
companion and good friend.                                                                     



My Little Cat Ghost
By Lynette Combs

The years I've worn you,
warm upon my shoulder,
ended here...
surprised to find us older.

And there was nothing
left to do today
but hold you close
and help you on your way.

Be still, my little cat,
Be well; be free.
I know that you are somewhere near
and loving me.


Related Reading

10 Ways to Honor Your Pet on National Pet Memorial Day


Memorializing Pets by Lynn Buzhardt, DVM

ASPCA Memorial Gifts

Every donation in memory of your pet helps the ASPCA.

Pet Memorials for Dogs and Cats:

Sympathy Cards, Clay Paws and More

Online Memorials

Add your pet to the free Rainbow Bridge List Online/Virtual Pet Memorial Pages

Pet Loss Poetry and Prayers

Center for Pet Loss Grief:

Pet Loss Poetry to Support You Healing and Inspirational Poetry

Funeral Wise: Prayers, Poems and Quotes to Celebrate a Pet's Life

Body Care

Compassion Understood: After Life Body Care


Let Your Love Grow | A Living Memorial

Cremation Solutions: Cremation Urns for Pet Ashes

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