Memorializing Your Pet
One way to help yourself focus on those positive memories is to develop a memorial to your pet—a tribute or reminder that will actively help you access and concentrate on those recollections.
Creating such a tribute can be an effective tool to help you cope with grief, allow you to mourn, and it will also provide you with a loving reminder of that pet in the years to come.
There are many ways to memorialize a pet. Here are a few of the most popular:
- Develop a photo tribute. Choose an especially nice photo of your pet and place it where it will bring you the most comfort. Another option is to gather a collection of representative photos—i.e., photos of your pet engaged in different activities, and at different ages—and turn them into a collection or collage.
- Have a portrait painted. Pet portraits are a beautiful way to memorialize your pet. Most artists work from photos. So find a good quality photo of your pet and have it recreated in a portrait.
- Create a craft tribute. If you enjoy a particular type of art or craft, consider using that to memorialize your pet.
- Create a written tribute. Write a poem about your pet, a letter to your pet (or even “from” your pet to you), an account of your pet’s life, or anything else that seems an effective way of expressing your feelings and memories. This could also be done as a family project, with each member contributing their own materials, which can then be assembled in a single volume to be shared by all.
- Post a tribute online. A number of sites offer this as a free service; Many sites also allow you post a picture of your pet.
- Plant a tree. A company called Treegivers offers to plant a tree in your pet’s name, in the state of your choice. Or, plant a tree or special plant in your own garden for “remembrance.” Your local city parks department might also allow you to plant a tree in a city park in memory of your pet.
- Obtain a special urn. If you have chosen cremation for your pet, you may wish to keep its ashes in a decorative urn. They come in fine woods, stained glass, gleaming metal, or even as carvings of specific breeds.
- Contribute to an animal welfare organization. Making a donation to Day By Day an animal rescue organization, animal shelter or alike is a great way to honor your pet.
- Contribute to the cure. If your pet died of a particular disease, there may be a research organizations that are seeking a cure. A contribution to that organization may help other pets and their pet caregivers in the future.
- Build your own website in tribute to your pet.
- Statue or stepping stone. Put a special statue or stepping stone in a garden spot that your pet loved. Examples include a statue of a pet, an angel, St. Francis of Assisi or a handmade stepping stone.