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.

clay paws.jpg

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 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 a Pet by Moira Anderson Allen

Pet Memorials for Dogs and Cats:

Sympathy Cards, Clay Paws and More

Online Memorials

Add your pet to the free Rainbow Bridge List

Add a Memorial at the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement

(Note: Paid membership in the APLB is required to post a memorial)

Pet-loss.net: Online/Virtual Pet Memorial Pages

Pet Loss Poetry and Prayers

Center for Pet Loss Grief:

Pet Loss Poetry to Support You

PetLoss.com: Healing and Inspirational Poetry

Humane Goods Blog: Poems About the Loss of a Pet

Day by Day Pet Support: Interfaith Prayers for Pet Loss

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

Cremation

Let Your Love Grow | A Living Memorial

Cremation Solutions: Cremation Urns for Pet Ashes

Author's yellow and white cat Jimmy

Note to visitors using iPad, Android and other tablets: This site is best seen in the HORIZONTAL VIEW. (landscape)

The vertical view may cause overlap of pictures and text.

Most of the photos on this site were taken by the talented and generous photographers of pixabay and unsplash. Thank you!

This is a free site for general information only. It is not intended as professional counsel.

If you need help, please seek expert advice.

© 2020 Christine Jette