No relationship is quite as pure as the one that exists between a pet and their owner. Pets are adored across many cultures, and because animals tend to live shorter lives than humans, the relationship most often ends when the pet passes away. This can be incredibly sad for any compassionate pet owner, and it's important to find the right way to say goodbye.
1. Have a Memorial Service
Whether you lived alone with your pet or she was loved by many, you need to lay her to rest in a way you feel good about. Gathering the people who loved your pet and sharing funny memories is a great way to make peace with her death.
2. Make a Picture Book
You probably took plenty of pictures of your pet throughout her life, and now is the time to use them. Having a book that you can grab and flip through whenever you're feeling sad will be a great help, and if you're the creative type, you can have a lot of fun laying it all out on paper. Go with a look and feel that matches your pet's personality.
3. Make a Video
Similar to a scrapbook, a video will give you something tangible that you can turn to when you're missing your pet. If you have a variety of home videos, you can edit them together using a simple editing tool and place a meaningful song in the background. At first, watching the video might be a little too emotional, but as the years go by, you will eventually view it with nothing but joy and gratitude.
4. Make a Living Memorial
One of the neatest ways to memorialize a lost life is to use a new life to represent it. Planting a tree in your yard is a wonderful way to do this. You can sit near it whenever you're feeling sad, and watching it grow over the years will remind you that life always goes on.
5. Frame Your Favorite Picture
Right after your pet's death, you may find viewing her image to be too painful. However, in time, you will cherish having a framed picture that you can view each day. Being sad is normal, but it's important to acknowledge that your pet won't ever be forgotten.
6. Create an Online Memorial
A website is a great way to remember your pet. You can visit and look at pictures anytime you feel the need, and it also allows friends or family members who loved your pet as well to do the same. If you feel inclined, a website is also a good way to start a charity in your pet's name. For example, you could collect donations and offer them to a local animal shelter so that other animals will have a better chance of finding owners who love them.
7. Find a Special Place
Many veterinarian's offices offer cremation services for dying pets, which will allow you to scatter her ashes in a special place. If her favorite activity was chasing the ball in the backyard, you could scatter them in the grass. If you loved taking her along on hiking excursions, alongside a mountain trail may be a good place. If she was a big fat cat who spent most of her time sitting in a window, you could keep some her ashes in a beautiful box and set it there.
8. Write a Poem or Story
Writing can be very healing, and you don't necessarily have to be a master of the literary arts to pull it off. Simply sit down and write everything you can remember about the beautiful times, the funny times and the sad times. If it helps, you can write a letter directly to her, trusting that she will somehow hear your words in the afterlife. Write whatever you feel, even if you never show it to anyone.
Losing a beloved companion will never be easy, and anyone who has ever loved an animal knows that they are as unique as people and can never be replaced. However, despite the fact that most pets will die before you do, their value in our lives simply can't be matched. If and when you do feel ready to find a new special friend, remember to cherish every moment, just as she will be sure to do with you.