Pet Memorial Services
When they turn to us, grieving pet owners are given the opportunity to hold a pet memorial service in tribute to their loving companion. Such a service commonly occurs after cremation, which means pet memorial services are usually focused around the urn containing the pet's cremated remains. Usually far less formal than a pet funeral, your pet's memorial service celebrates their life in a respectful way. Such a service will benefit adult family members, but a pet memorial service can be especially helpful to grieving children.
What's Involved in Pet Memorial Services?
A pet memorial service is a gathering of grieving family members and friends who have come together in support of one another. Participants share a common goal: to pay tribute, in a deeply meaningful way, to the life of a beloved animal companion. Just like memorial services for the humans in our lives, pet memorial services are intended to move the bereaved forward into the grief journey, while giving them the strength and comfort to tackle the essential tasks of mourning:
accept the reality of your pet's death
experience the pain of bereavement
adjust to life without your pet
reinvest your energy into new relationships and new ways of living
The measure to which a pet memorial service can move grieving pet owners toward these tasks has more to do with the features and activities of the service: in short, your pet's memorial service needs to reflect the uniqueness of their life. That's what makes pet memorial services meaningful...and powerful.
Creating the Pet Memorial Service Ceremony
We tell families they should see a pet memorial service as a ceremony with three (3) distinct parts:
Opening of the Ceremony: This is where you set the tone for the memorial service with heartfelt remarks made by, or on behalf of, the grieving pet owners.
Middle of the Service: Here's where you briefly share your pet's life story, and where guests can share their thoughts about your pet. Additional activities can be included (see the section below for a few pet memorial service ideas).
Closing the Ceremony: This is where you can invoke the spirit of gratitude, by thanking those in attendance for their presence. It's a time when words of healing inspiration are offered in love.
You may choose to have an informal reception after your pet's memorial service, where food and refreshments are served. It could be a pot luck event, or it could be catered; either way, a reception gives everyone time to informally connect with one another in a casual, comfortable setting.
Pet Memorial Service Ideas
The ways you can pay tribute to your beloved animal companion are as varied as you can possibly imagine. Your pet's service can include:
A slide show or memory board of treasured pet photos
The display of your pet's most loved toys
A hand-picked selection of especially meaningful background music
The reading of selected literary or spiritual passages
A release of butterflies to close the ceremony
The singing of particularly significant songs
A eulogy for your pet
Engaging activities for both the humans and the pets in attendance
A gathering of your pet's "pet friends"
In all honesty, your pet memorial service can be anything you want it to be. But we know how hard it is to think clearly when you're mourning the death of a pet; making the decisions involved in planning pet memorial services can be harder than expected. That's where we come in; all you need to do is call us at 916-348-4000. One of our pet loss professionals will be pleased to assist you in this most loving act, performed in tribute to your wonderful pet.