Whether you feel the need to celebrate the life of your pet or have a child who wishes to have a pet funeral, it can be done easily, tastefully, and with love. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, though you can now bury your special friend in pet cemeteries. It doesn’t have to be a big deal, but it can be, if that is what you wish. Come up with a plan that will celebrate the life of your loved one, say goodbye to your close friend, or help your child have closure and acceptance when death tragically takes a pet.
Be serious. Losing a pet is hard for most people. Not everyone understands that, but if a young person is in need of closure through a funeral, then it should be done very carefully and seriously. Young children are still learning how to mourn or handle their emotions and how they feel about the death of their loved one. The first rule of pet funerals is to be very serious.
Plan ahead. Planning doesn’t have to be hard, but it is important.
If you are burying the remains, make sure there are rocks and/or a marker, so that you know where you buried your pet’s remains. If you are using the local sanitation, you will want to handle the matter delicately when dealing with young children and may even want to wait till after the funeral is over to deal with the remains.
Are you going to wrap the remains in a blanket, place them in a box or use some other type of container? This can be a good time to get young ones involved and let them make something special as a goodbye gift.
You can also have your pet cremated and placed in an urn. You will then want to have the service somewhere where there is enough space for the people who will be attending and have the urn there. This can be indoors, or outdoors if space is needed. The urn can then be brought in later and stored in a place that was meaningful to your beloved pet.
Prepare everything. Once you have taken some time to plan it out and invite all who would want to participate, then at the chosen time prepare the remains by placing them in the box, favorite blanket or other container. Take the remains to the location of the funeral and have everything in place including a marker (this is sometimes nice even if you aren’t burying the body, because there is somewhere to go to remember the loved one). Or you can place the urn in the location of the service if you have chosen to cremate your pet.
Make it special. To make it special, include a few words by a few different people, especially the ones who were closest to the departed pet. This doesn’t have to take a long time, but should be done carefully. You can also include music and other things to make this time special.
Depending on those who are mourning the loss of the pet, you will want to be prepared for questions, especially from the very young. It is important to be honest about death, but also caring and understanding that mourning is hard and pets mean a lot to us. Pet funerals are a great way to bring some closure and also the comfort from both mourning the loss and celebrating the pet’s life together with all who loved the pet.