Musings of a Morti Mom

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National Pet Memorial Day

Published: September 12, 2016 by Lindsay Peters-Heilman

According to the International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories (IAOPCC), the second Sunday in September marks National Pet Memorial Day, a day to honor our pets both past and present and recognize the important role that beloved pets play in our lives. This prestigious event was established more than 40 years ago by the Members of the IAOPCC; unfortunately, that memorial fell on September 11th this year and I wanted to give the proper reflection and reverence to a day marked with senseless tragedy.  So in turn, I am bringing light to National Pet Memorial Day a day after its national recognition. 

Mourning a pet’s death can be a difficult time. You need to give yourself plenty of time, patience, and room to heal properly. If you’re unsure how you are going to heal from the loss of a pet here are a few activities and ideas suggested from the IAOPCC that may help you.

  • Spend a few minutes reflecting upon pleasant memories of your pet - think about your late pet. Look at old photos or flip through the pages of a scrapbook filled with small mementos and snapshots of special moments with your late four-legged friend.  Talk about your pet with others who were familiar can share special memories with you.
  • Visit your pet's burial site. Make a tribute to your pet by decorating its burial site with something it may have enjoyed in life. Talk to your pet while at the burial site.
  • Contribute to or volunteer at an animal protection group.
    • Need one?  Look here
    • Giving the gift of your time to dogs and cats as a volunteer at your local animal shelter will help to fill the lonely hours as you mourn your pet… and it may become a regular event.  The animals will be endlessly thankful and you will feel better knowing you opened your heart.
    • Don’t have time? Make a donation of much-needed items or money to an animal shelter or rescue organization. The generous gesture will help to lighten your sorrow as it brightens the day of dogs and cats in need – there is always a need for food, blankets, toys, and pet beds.
  • Donate money or time to a charity or organization in honor of your late pet. Choose an organization or charity based on your animal's breed or a particular cause that is close to your heart. Animal shelters, rescue groups and humane societies all appreciate volunteers.
  • Plant a memorial tree or dedicate a flower bed in your garden as a loving way to keep the memory of your late pet alive for generations to come.
    • You can also memorialize the spot with a garden stone.
  • Once time has passed, one way that you might wish to honor the cherished memories of your beloved pet and the legacy of love they left behind is to welcome another furry family member into your heart and home. Although some people may experience a twinge of guilt at the thought of getting another pet and think that they have nothing left to give after going through the pain of their pet’s passing, they will soon find that their heart has only expanded over the years thanks to the love of their late pet– who, like all true friends, only wish happiness for the friend they had to leave behind.
  • Or when you are ready you may want to consider adopting another pet. You should not feel guilty because you are bringing another pet into your home to love and care for. Your pet that passed away would be happy and proud to see that you were ready to love a new pooch or cat again.

Remember, the most important thing is to give yourself time and patience as you mourn the death of your pet.

A new avenue in our funeral home is Pet Care – and we offer cremation and burial services which includes at home removals and transportation, if needed. We subcontract to a Pet Crematory about 30 minutes away that offers all the amenities for families to quietly sit and be present with their pet during the cremation process.  We understand personal pet cremation maybe more expensive than cremations performed at the veterinary office, but we feel that the personalized attention is something to consider when weighing your options. Regardless, we can still serve your pet needs through numerous products – caskets, vaults, urns, pet grave markers, garden stones, etc.  Lastly, the same cremation memorabilia available for humans is available for the pet universe too such as numerous jewelry keepsakes along with nose and paw print products.   

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