Holding a Wake or Memorial for Your Pet

Each family marks the death of a loved one a little differently. Even within the same family there are likely to be considerably different opinions on how best to honor and celebrate the life of a loved one. Few memorials are quite as unique and distinctive as the ones we create for our pets. When it comes to devising ways to honor and remember our special animal friends, people are willing to go to surprising lengths. Holding a memorial service for a family pet that has died may sound like a strange idea to people who have never experienced this kind of loss, but this traditional observance can actually provide a great deal of comfort to a person or family who is grieving for an animal that has recently passed.How Can I Hold A Memorial for a Pet?Planning a pet memorial is actually not as complicated as you might imagine. Aside from a comfortable and appropriate place to gather, there is really nothing else that you absolutely need. You can think about including things such as:

A framed photo or collection of photos depicting your pet or your entire family together

Floral arrangements, nice linens, lit candles, and other attractive items of d├ęcor

Several special items belonging to your pet arranged in a respectful display

An urn or container holding your pet’s cremated remains

Some soft, calm music playing in the background

A special poem or literary passage displayed with the other items or read out loud
A few chairs can be placed around the space to give attendees somewhere to sit and talk together. Some memorials are well-suited to serving light snacks and beverages while other people prefer to serve food at another time. The people invited can offer comfort and companionship to the bereaved and share the memories they have of the special animal’s life.A More Private ObservanceSome people prefer to grieve in private or only among their closest friends and relations. A respectful and satisfying memorial can still be held at any time you wish. There is no pressure to hold a memorial soon after your friend’s passing. You and your family can take your time to talk about what would make a memorial observance most special to you.One option some pet owners have explored is scattering ash at a special location. Cremated remains can be stored securely in a container designed for that purpose or any other close fitting, durable container. In fact, you can remove a small portion for scattering while keeping the rest in a specially selected container.

The ash that remains after a cremation procedure is not dangerous; it can be safely handled at home. Many public sites, including national parks, have guidelines regarding the disposal of cremated remains within their boundaries. This is why many people choose to scatter ashes at home or on private property where permission can be obtained.Observances can Help the HealingSpecial animals are never forgotten. Holding a special memorial celebration can be a special opportunity to remember the life of a very special member of the family. This intimate observance can bring your family closer together while honoring an important life.