Companions on your journey.

Memorializing Your Pet during the Holidays

By: Kathryn Jennings, CPFE, CPLP
President & Founder, Day By Day Pet Caregiver Support

“There is sadness in tears.  They are not the mark of weakness, but of power.  They are messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition and of unspeakable love.”
-Washington Irving

The holidays can be a difficult time to cope with the loss of a pet.  Often times the first holiday without the presence of a beloved pet can overwhelmingly emotional and painful.  One way to help yourself focus on positive memories this holiday season 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 or pet memorial can be an effective tool to help you cope with grief (though it may certainly produce a few tears in the process!), and it will also provide you with a loving reminder of that pet during a season meant to focus on joy and gratitude.

There are many ways to memorialize a pet. Here are a few to consider that can all be done in a simple meaningful and heartfelt way:

1) Develop a photo tribute. Choose an especially nice photo of your pet and place it where it will bring you the most comfort around holiday decorations. 

2) Have a portrait painted. Pet portraits are a beautiful way to memorialize your pet in its healthy years.  Most artists work from photos. So find a good quality photo of your pet and have it recreated in a portrait as a gift to yourself.

3) 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. Share this poem at dinner to honor your beloved pet.

4) Post an online pet memorial. A number of websites offer this as a free service.  Many sites also allow you post a picture and share information about your pet’s life.

5) Contribute to an animal welfare or support services organization.  Making a donation to an animal rescue organization, animal shelter, support services organization or alike is a great way to honor your pet and give back to other pets in need this special season.

What you choose to do to memorialize your beloved pet this holiday season will be what feels right for you that focuses on remembering the life and love you shared.  Friends and family might not understand this need however these memorialization pieces are all part of the mourning journey meant to assist the grieving heart in moving through the grief into healing.  You have the right to express yourself in any manner that brings you comfort.  The life and love you shared with your pet will never be forgotten.

To learn more about pet memorialization options, or to post a free online pet memorial, contact Day By Day Pet Caregiver Support by emailing daybydaypetsupport@comcast.net or by calling 484-453-8210.   We are here when and how you need us with no cost supportive services.

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