This Sunday, June 12th, is World Pet Memorial Day. It is a day to remember all the pets we have had and known, and celebrate them by reflecting on all that they brought into our lives. Pets can bring so much love, joy and purpose to our lives. They often are members of our family; they are our furry, scaly and feathered children, siblings, and the very best friends. We share our couches and beds with them; we turn to them for comfort and affection, and confide our deepest secrets and fears in them. Our pets don’t judge us, and are always there waiting to welcome us home and brighten up our day.
Advances in veterinary medicine are allowing animals to live longer, healthier lives than ever before. But, the turn of the wheel is inevitable, and much sooner that we would ever like, our pets must leave us. However, it is possible to continue to honor and remember all that a beloved animal companion brought to your life in ways beyond just your memories. There are many things you can do to remember all the well-loved creatures that took up a special place in your heart. Some of them are:
Take the time to remember. It’s always difficult losing someone we love, so take the time you need to grieve for your pet, as well as to remember them as time marches on. Spend some time looking at old photographs of your pets, or videos, if you have them, and remembering all the love and joy they brought into your life. Share stories with friends and family member about them, and make sure they’re not forgotten.
Visit your pet’s burial site. People visit their deceased human relative in cemeteries all the time, so don’t be afraid to do the same with your pets. Make the site special; add a small grave marker or inscribed tombstone to mark the spot. Many people feel comforted knowing their beloved pet is resting peacefully nearby, and being able to visit them brings peace and acceptance.
Plant a living memorial for your pet. It could be in your backyard, or a public spot available for citizens to plant trees or flowers. Whether it’s a whole flower bed in your yard, or a tree in the park, a living memorial can be a special testament to a special animal.
Keep a memento in a special spot. Some people find it comforting to keep their pet’s collar, favorite toy or blanket as a memento of their pet in a special keepsake box. The physical item can bring back fond memories of your pet, and encourages you remember the wonderful days you had together.
Contribute to a cause. Choose a charitable organization close to your heart that works with animals, and make a donation in memory of your pet.
One of the best ways you can remember your pets that have passed is through your actions with animals that are still with us. When you’re ready, adopt a new pet from a shelter; an animal that is in need of a loving home. Volunteer at your local animal shelter or activist organization helping local animals. Foster pets who are waiting for a new home. There are many ways to remember and honor your pets that have gone, and just because they’re gone, does not mean they’re forgotten. A beloved pet will always hold a special place in your heart.