The loss of a beloved pet is a very emotional time and can be no less traumatic than when we lose a member of the family or friend. It is always important to say goodbye, whatever the circumstances. And there is no shame in admitting that we wish to do so for an animal we loved.
Grief is a natural response to loss and suffering we feel when something or someone we love is taken away from us. Often, the pain of loss we feel is overwhelming. We may experience all kinds of difficult emotions: shock, anger, disbelief, guilt, and profound sadness.
Coping with loss is one of life’s biggest challenges. We may easily associate grieving with the death of a member of the family or friends—which is often the cause of the most intense type of grief—but any loss can cause grief, including:
• Divorce or relationship breakup
• Loss of health
• Losing a job
• Loss of financial stability
• A miscarriage
• Death of a Pet
Whatever our loss, it’s personal. It is so important we’re not feeling ashamed about how we feel and that it’s somehow only appropriate to grieve for certain things.
If the person, animal, relationship, or situation was significant to you, it’s normal to grieve the loss you’re experiencing. Whatever the cause of your grief, there are healthy ways to cope with it, and in time, your sadness will ease.
One very significant way is to hold a Funeral Ceremony for your pet.
It is becoming increasingly popular to mark the occasion of losing a beloved pet in very much the same way as we would for our nearest and dearest. Society is beginning to realise again, that it can help the mourning process.
While it may seem strange to those without pets, a funeral for a treasured pet is a natural thing to want to do, especially if you have children. It can help them come to terms with their loss, and so, provide an ideal opportunity to explain to children what life and death is all about. But pet funerals are not just to benefit children. It is perfectly natural to feel sad and grieve the loss of a pet. After all, what we are feeling is grief for the loss of a beloved friend. It really is as simple as that.
We must remember, of course, that pet memorials have been carried out since ancient times. For instance, mummified remains of pets have been found in Egyptian tombs, and it became an especially popular practice during the Victorian and Edwardian times…an era that still influences how we conduct our funeral arrangements to this day.
But what is a Pet Funeral like and how do we arrange one?
First, you will need to choose whether your pet is to be buried or cremated.
There are some pet cremation services and beautiful pet burial sites nearby. Your vet can make these arrangements for you, or you can arrange this yourself.
In fact, there are some very good local crematoriums and pet burial sites, namely:
If, however, you decide to bury your pet in your garden, you should check with your local authorities whether this is permitted on your property. But you might have an area of the garden where you can hold a small ceremony, or perhaps even inside your home. Steve works with a couple of very fitting local venues and will be happy to arrange this for you.
Celebrant-led Pet Ceremonies
A special ceremony officiated by Steve may include a short prayer, or a member of the family might wish to speak about the beloved pet and their happy memories.
Photographs too, are a good reminder of the happy days on the beach or in your local park.
And a tree planting ceremony, or the planting of a favourite rose over the place where your pet’s remains will be interred, can be especially poignant. As is listening to music and reciting meaningful poetry.
Other than for burials, it will be important to note that some of these sites may only facilitate the cremation and may not have the means to hold a ceremony indoors.
So, you will need to choose where to hold your ceremony.
Steve is always at hand to help advise you and he is available to officiate pet ceremonies that can be as simple or as sophisticated as you would like, but always delivered and organised with great sincerity and compassion.
To make an enquiry please fill in the enquiry form below and Steve will get back to you.
A small selection of poetry ideas can be seen here.
“A good dog never dies, he always stays,
he walks besides you on crisp autumn days
when frost is on the fields and winter’s drawing near,
his head within our hand in his old way.”
We have a secret, you and I
that no one else shall know,
for who but I can see you lie
each night in fire glow?
And who but I can reach my hand
before we go to bed
and feel the living warmth of you
and touch your silken head?
And only I walk woodland paths
and see ahead of me,
your small form racing with the wind
so young again, and free.
And only I can see you swim
in every brook I pass
and when I call, no one but I
can see the bending grass.
Oh, what unhappy twist of fate
Has brought you homeless to my gate,
The gate where once another stood
To beg for shelter, warmth and food?
For from that day I ceased to be
The master of my destiny,
While she, with purr and velvet paw
Became within my house the law.
She scratched the furniture and shed
And claimed the middle of my bed,
She ruled in arrogance and pride
And broke my heart the day she died.
So if you really think, oh cat
I’d willingly relive all that,
Because you come forlorn and thin
Well don’t just stand there – come on in!
If it should be that I grow frail and weak
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then will you do what must be done,
For this — the last battle — can’t be won.
You will be sad I understand,
But don’t let grief then stay your hand,
For on this day, more than the rest,
Your love and friendship must stand the test.
We have had so many happy years,
You wouldn’t want me to suffer so.
When the time comes, please, let me go.
Take me to where to my needs they’ll tend,
Only, stay with me till the end
And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.
I know in time you will agree
It is a kindness you do to me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I have been saved.
Don’t grieve that it must be you
Who has to decide this thing to do;
We’ve been so close — we two — these years,
Don’t let your heart hold any tears.
Sunlight streams through the windowpane
unto a spot on the floor….
then I remember,
it’s where you used to lie,
but now you are no more.
Our feet walk down a hall of carpet,
and muted echoes sound….
then I remember,
It’s where your paws would joyously abound.
A voice is heard along the road,
and up beyond the hill,
then I remember it can’t be yours….
your golden voice is still.
But I’ll take that vacant spot of floor
and empty muted hall
and lay them with the absent voice
and unused dish along the wall.
I’ll wrap these treasured memorials
in a blanket of my love
and keep them for my best friend
until we meet above.
I have done mostly what most men do,
And pushed it out of my mind;
But I can’t forget, if I wanted to,
Four-Feet trotting behind.
Day after day, the whole day through —
Wherever my road inclined —
Four-feet said, “I am coming with you!”
And trotted along behind.
Now I must go by some other round, —
Which I shall never find —
Somewhere that does not carry the sound
Of Four-Feet trotting behind.
I lost a treasured friend today
The little dog who used to lay
Her gentle head upon my knee
And shared her silent thoughts with me.
She’ll come no longer to my call
Retrieve no more her favourite ball
A voice far greater than my own
Has called her to his golden throne.
Although my eyes are filled with tears
I thank him for the happy years
He let her spend down here with me
And for her love and loyalty.
When it is time for me to go
And join her there, this much I know
I shall not fear the transient dark
For she will greet me with a bark.
Don’t cry for the horses that life has set free.
A million white horses forever to be.
Don’t cry for the horses now in God’s hand.
As they dance and they prance in a heavenly band.
They were ours as a gift, but never to keep.
As they close their eyes forever to sleep.
Their spirits unbound. On silver wings they fly.
A million white horses against the blue sky.
Look up into heaven, you’ll see them above.
The horses we lost, the horses we loved.
Manes and tails flowing they gallop through time.
They were never yours – they were never mine.
Don’t cry for the horses. They’ll be back someday.
When our time is gone, they will show us the way.
Do you hear that soft nicker? Close to your ear?
Don’t cry for the horses. Love the ones that are here.
They will not go quietly,
the pets who’ve shared our lives.
In subtle ways they let us know
their spirit still survives.
Old habits still can make us think
we hear them at the door
Or step back when we drop
a tasty morsel on the floor.
Our feet still go around the place
the food dish used to be,
And, sometimes, coming home at night,
we miss them terribly.
And although time may bring new friends
and a new food dish to fill,
That one place in our hearts
belongs to them…
and always will.
So, though I give you all my heart,
the time will come when we must part.
But all around you, you will see,
creatures that speak to you of me;
a tired horse, a hunted thing,
a sparrow with a broken wing.
Pity – and help (I know you will)
and somehow, I will be with you still;
and I shall know, although I’m gone,
the love I gave you lingers on.