Losing a family pet is a difficult process. Grieving a loss that’s so personal takes time, and involves a lot of ups and downs. One of the many ways we process our grief is by coming together at a funeral or memorial to share memories of the loved one who has gone.
Pets are no exception to this rule. Your dog or cat is just as much a member of your family as your parents or kids! When your pet dies, you need to grieve that loss as much as you would any other.
And, just like a human death, one of the best ways is to hold a pet funeral for your beloved pet.
The ancient Egyptians mummified and buried cats, which they considered deities. Archeologists have found an ancient dog cemetery in Beijing, China, with headstones of marble, ivory and silver!
Margaret Renkl, in an article in the New York Times, "What It Means to Be Loved by a Dog," wrote:
"As a measure of how deeply dogs are embedded in our own lives, consider what happened when Emma, our fifteen year old dachshund, died last month. Three friends brought flowers, one brought chocolate, another brought a homemade strawberry pie. One brought a barbecue supper and an original poem. On Facebook, 158 people wrote messages of condolence. "
Why Hold A Pet Funeral?
A funeral or a memorial service is a way for those who have lost someone close to them to come together and grieve. Funerals have been performed by various human cultures for thousands of years.
When you lose someone close to you, you may feel many conflicting emotions. Anger, sadness, confusion, and numbness. It can be difficult for you to manage and understand all of these feelings by yourself.
Holding a funeral is an amazing way to gather together and support each other during this difficult time. A funeral allows you to process your grief more fully, and to find support with others who are experiencing the same emotions you are.
A pet funeral is no different. Losing a pet is challenging, and getting together with friends and loved ones is the best way to say goodbye to a furry friend who has passed. It's also a good way to feel supported by a community and validate the emotions of everyone present.
If you are ready to start planning your pet's funeral, then the first thing to do is determine how your pet is going to be buried. As with humans, you can choose to either bury your pet or have your pet cremated. This is a deeply personal choice that ultimately comes down to your own preference.
If you decide to bury your pet, you will most likely be able to bury him in your yard. However, you’ll have to check your local laws and regulations to make sure this is allowed. You should also be mindful of where you’re digging. You don’t want to affect any utility or powerlines. Bury your pet 2 to 4 feet deep. And rather than just placing in a plastic bag, a respectable and loving way to bury your pet is to place in a casket, which also protects the body from other animals digging up. Sizes usually come for a dog or a cat, and large, medium or small. Be sure to select the correct size.
If you decide to cremate your pet, you can choose to keep the ashes, scatter them, or bury them. Again, be mindful to check local laws and rules to determine where it’s appropriate to spread or bury the ashes. When it comes to placing ashes in an urn, there is an amazing selection to choose from.
When it comes to the service itself, how formal you would like it to be is up to you. Some people choose to hold formal pet funeral services, while others believe that something simpler is the best way to represent their beloved pet.
Just know that there are no wrong answers! The most important thing is to invite people who will be able to share in your grief, and with who you feel comfortable sharing memories of your pet.
When it comes time for the ceremony, there are a few things that you may want to make sure you do. These are things that will help everyone at the funeral process their sadness and find ways to support each other.
Readings that you share at your pet's funeral service can come from anything meaningful to you. Many people choose to share Bible verses that help them represent the sadness they feel over the loss of their pet. Sharing pet funeral prayers is a great way to find spiritual comfort.
Other people decide to share readings from books or poems that they find meaningful.
When you're selecting your readings, remember that they don't all have to be about death or about grieving. You can choose readings that are about joy, too.
Your pet’s death shouldn’t only be about sadness. You should be able to find joy in the fact that your pet lived a good, happy life. Finding readings that spread joy, happiness, and other positive feelings can be a great comfort during difficult times like this.
One of the best ways to grieve and mourn the loss of something is by sharing memories. When you share your favorite memories of your pet with those present at the funeral, you are sharing the sadness that you all feel about the loss of your pet, as well as the joy at having known them.
One great way to share memories is to gather everyone in a circle. You can hold hands if you wish, or choose not to. Begin by sharing your favorite memory of your pet, and then continue going around the circle until everyone has had the chance to share their own memory.
Set Up a Memorial
A memorial is a great way to represent your love for your lost pet. There are many memorial ideas you can choose from and even combine to create the perfect one for your pet.
At your pet funeral service, you might want to consider setting up a table where you can place the memorial. If you’re cremated your pet, putting the urn on this table surrounded with your pet’s items like their collar, favorite toys, and photographs are some good options.
Another great way to honor your pet's memory is to set up a donation box for your local pet shelter. Your pet would love that you are using this opportunity to help other animals in need.
The death of a pet can affect us just as much as the death of a human. Pets make up such a huge part of our lives, and when they pass away it’s important to grieve that loss.
Holding a pet funeral is a fantastic way to honor the memory of your pet. It’s also the perfect way to find support with friends and family members.
If you have recently lost a furry family member, consider holding a pet funeral service. You’ll be happy you found a way to come together with friends and family and find comfort during these difficult times.
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