Pet Goodbye Ceremonies

Our pets are extremely precious to us and in many instances become and are treated as a part of the family. Losing a beloved pet is traumatic and deeply felt and often the only way to get over the pain of the loss is to organise and plan a ceremony that reflects our love and respect and provides us with lasting memories of our pet.

Very often the death of a family pet is taken care of by your veterinary service. However, this is very cold and impersonal and does not give you the opportunity to mark the passing and say a final goodbye. Fortunately, other opportunities such as a pet burial or pet cremation are now available and becoming increasingly popular.

Pet Burial
Burial at Home. This is the traditional resting place for many family pets but digging a grave is no easy task. In heavy soil there should be at least two feet of soil on top of the burial but in light sandy soil I would advise three feet. If you do not use a solid coffin then be sure to cover the grave with some paving stones to stop any garden animals digging down. On the other hand, you may wish to have a coffin for your pet and a wide range of eco-friendly caskets made from cardboard, willow, jute and bamboo through to more elaborate and solid traditional coffins can be purchased. Before proceeding with a home burial however, you must also think about how you will feel about having the grave in the garden, as well as your emotions when it comes to moving house.

Burial in a Pet Cemetery. If a home burial is not for you then a pet cemetery could be the answer. This can range from a formal burial plot to a ‘green’ burial where trees are planted on the grave. The cemetery will usually determine the location of the burial plot and if you choose, how the plot is to be marked. They will also take care of the physical and practical side of the burial. Again, a wide-range of caskets is available to you.

Pet Cremation
You might decide that an individual cremation is for you. This will be carried out behind closed doors but your pet’s ashes will be returned to you in a casket, urn or scatter pouch. Alternatively, you may wish to choose a communal cremation in which your family pet is cremated in the company of other people’s pets. Again, This will be carried out behind closed doors but following the cremation the ashes can be scattered among the trees in the cremation house gardens.

Goodbye Ceremonies
With any of the above ceremonies I can help you with suggestions as well as the planning and organising of the ceremony you choose. I can also offer you the opportunity to have some words said either at the burial, or at the ash scattering. This enables you to say a final and proper farewell to your pet and can help you through the grieving process. I believe that any ceremony should incorporate your remembrances of your pet, and your experiences together. Photos can be displayed, together with any favourite toys,etc. There are some lovely readings and poems available today which reflect our friendship with our pets, and these can also be incorporated into the ceremony.
Please contact me to see how I might be able to help you through this difficult time.

eileen@eileensmithcelebrant.com

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