- Nicole Vykoukal, LCSW
16 Ways to Memorialize Your Companion
I have compiled a list of ways to memorialize your beloved companion animal when they die. These suggestions have come from my own experience with pet loss and countless others’ suggestions for remembering and honoring their lost loved ones.
Create a space
Make an altar or space honoring your companion. The altar can include your pet’s favorite items (cat nip, toys, pet beds), photographs of your companion, flowers and other items you find relevant to honoring your loved one.
Have a memorial service for your animal
Invite friends and family who knew your pet. You can have the service at your house, a friend’s house or even a park. Be creative. You can share pictures, light candles, and ask others to share stories.
Plant something to signify your companion
Plant a bush, tree or flowers in your pet’s memory.
Cherish their tags
Put their collar tag(s) on your key chain or make a piece of jewelry out of the tags.
Have a plush animal replica of your animal created
Cuddle Clones creates a plush clone of your companion animal using just a handful of photos from different angles. Each clone is custom-made. www.cuddleclones.com
Have an artist paint a portrait of your companion
You can search for pet artists through etsy or google. Some artists will use your pet’s creation ashes to create the piece.
Create a bucket list
Some animals have a chronic condition that their human is aware of so there is time to create a bucket list of activities that are fun, enjoyable, or relaxing. Make the bucket list obtainable. Items could include, having professional photos taken of you and your pet, visiting one of your pet’s favorite places, basking in sun rays together, eating a favorite food, playing a favorite game, listening to favorite music, driving through the bank to get a dog biscuit. Take photographs or check off bucket list items so you can look back on moments when your pet was happy or content.
Many folks choose to bury their animal on their own land, a family member’s land, or a cemetery for pets. You can create a graveside that is welcoming and loving. If you do decide to bury your pet on your own land, consider checking your local city ordinances regarding pet burials.
Your veterinarian most likely offers this service through their cremation provider. You can also find alternative cremation service providers from who your veterinarian uses. Austin Pet Memorial Center and The Pet Loss Center are two Austin area providers.
Creations out of ashes
Creations from your companion’s ashes are available. Search and compare companies on the internet or talk with your cremation provider about options.
Here are some of the available options:
Paintings incorporating ashes
Custom blown glass pieces
Keep your companion’s ashes in a locket charm.
A memorial Tree
Plant a memorial tree with your companion animal’s ashes. The ashes are harmful to trees/plants so special measures need to be taken when planting. EterniTrees (for people and pets) ships you a biodegradable urn, seeds, and plant nutrients to help ensure your tree will grow.
Many people use body art to memorialize loved ones. Find a tattoo artist who specializes in pet portraits.
-Compose an obituary for your companion
-Write about your companion animal to memorialize them and keep their memory alive.
-Create a website or blog
-Write a poem, stories, or journal entries
Create a collage or scrapbook
Create a digital or physical collage or a scrapbook.
Video is an excellent way to capture your pet's personality and essence. You can edit and compile videos of your loved one, or upload videos to your drive, or upload to youtube so they are easily accessible.
Deciding how to memorialize your beloved companion animal will most likely evoke many complex emotions. Try to connect with others who understand the deep bond you have with your animal. Please treat yourself with compassion and kindness as you make decisions and grieve your loss.
A link to additional ideas: