During their lives, we loved our pets. After their deaths, we can affirm this love. Finding ways to remember
and honor our departed pets assists in the grieving process because grief rituals help us acknowledge and mourn the loss.
They also symbolize what we cherish and want to keep in our hearts. Grief rituals bring us comfort as we commemorate the lives
of our companion animals.
Take a day off work, or part of a day, to honor your pet. If you need a reason, tell
the truth by explaining that your best friend has died and you are grieving. You may want to have a candle light ceremony
and recite poetry or prayer, plant a tree or rose bush in your pet’s honor, place a personalized memorial marker in
your garden, volunteer at an animal shelter, display photos of your pet, create a scrapbook of memories, write a poem, draw,
paint a picture or make a donation to a humane organization. When my beloved cat Sam died, I gave money to the shelter where
I first met him as a tiny kitten.
One of the loveliest ideas for remembering another dear companion came from
the veterinarian who helped him on his final journey: After Merlin died, the vet took a clay impression of my cat's huge paw. Before the clay dried, he pierced a hole in the impression with
a toothpick so that a ribbon could slip through the top. I used a deep yellow ribbon to symbolize Merlin's golden fur. The
paw print is among my most cherished ornaments. It reminds me of Merlin’s majesty and loving nature every time I look
You can also observe Pet Memorial Day on the second Sunday in September. Grief rituals are deeply personal. Please follow your grieving
Adapted from Songs, Blessings and Rituals for the Home
turn to you in prayer at this time of remembrance. The link of life that bound us to __________ has been broken, but feelings
of love continue. We give thanks for the gift of __________’s life, companionship and memory. Help us to understand
how our lives have been formed and shaped by what __________ was and did. May his/her memory be a blessing. As long as we
live, they too will live, for they are part of us as long as we remember them.
For more prayers, please see: Blessing of the Animals
Wolfelt, Alan. When Your Pet Dies: A Guide to Mourning, Remembering and Healing.
Companion Press, 2004.
From Vetstreet.com: Marking and Memorializing Pet Loss
Memorializing a Pet by Moira Anderson Allen
Treesforachange.com: Pet Memorials that Live On. "Give a gift, Restore a Forest"
From Pet-loss.net: Online/Virtual Pet Memorial Pages
Add your pet to the free Rainbow Bridge List at PetLoss.com
Create a permanent tribute at PetLoss.com
Participate in the Monday Pet Loss Candle Ceremony
APLB.org: Add a Memorial at the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement
Go to next page: Will I see my pet again?