The recent loss of my beloved Timo made me think of how we can remember our pets after they cross the Rainbow Bridge.
I chose to place Timo in her favorite spot in my garden. We covered her grave with beautiful stones and I placed a plant in the center. A headstone or plaque can be added. A friend created a small fenced-in garden spot with lovely flowers, a plaque & pictures of her furry pal. Many people opt to have their pets cremated and the ashes placed in decorative boxes or urns with the pet’s name and perhaps a photo. Or you can choose a pet cemetery found in most areas across the country.
There are support groups you can join, some online to help with the grieving process. You’ll find kindred souls who are suffering as you are and understand the profound loss you are experiencing. Sharing feelings and stories of your pet helps to comfort you. Some groups have yearly candle-lighting ceremonies where each pet’s name is recited and remembered.
Not surprisingly there are tangible ways to remember your pet.
I cut a lock of Timo’s fur to place in a locket. There are companies that offer candles, wall hangings, plaques, jewelry, painting on needlepoint, portraits done of your pet to name a few. To the right is a portrait capturing the essence of my precious Timo done by my granddaughter Shira, our own artist. What a wonderful tribute, I know how much you loved her too – thank you Shira.
There are organizations like the ASPCA, the Humane Society, Best Friends, other shelters, rescues and groups such as BoneCancerDog, a yahoo group, which offer memorials for pets where you can ask people to donate in memory of your pet. I’m sure any of these places would be pleased to have you memorialize your pet with donations and would probably allow you to put a plaque on show. Another group I belong to which is an extension of the CanineCancer group, also a yahoo group, is CanineCancerAngels. The Angels group allows us to express our feelings and share with others who understand and have had the same experiences of loss of a beloved pet. My daughter set up a Memorial for Timo at the National Canine Cancer Foundation. There are other organizations as well, researching and trying to find cures for pet diseases that would welcome your support. It’s a wonderful way to remember your pet, by helping others.
Books have been written about pets and what happens after they cross the Rainbow Bridge which can bring comfort to those of you mourning a loss.
However you choose to memorialize your pets, they will always have a place in your heart.
Some books available:
Animals and the Afterlife – Kim Sheridan
The Rainbow Bridge: Pet Loss is Heaven’s Gain – Niki Behrikis Shanahan
Cold Noses at the Pearly Gates – Gary Kurz
There is Eternal Life for Animals – Niki Behrikis Shanahan
Here are some companies online that have memorial items for pets:
www.pet-memorials.co.uk (engraved memorial stones and plaques)
[email protected] (hand-painted plaques)
Disclaimer: This is not an endorsement of any company. These are only suggestions of places that have advertised in magazines. We are not responsible for these companies & their products.