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One of the ways that we navigate through grief is through memorialization. By creating a trinket, performing a memorial service, or even writing out our thoughts, we help ourselves process the grief. We have included others' memorializations to their pets, information on the importance of memorialization, and ideas on how to create a memorial to your pet.
My forever childhood friend
No one can comprehend
All you were to me.
You were like a part of the landscape
Loving me, without a care.
But now you're gone
Leaving a hole
In the landscape of my soul.
No one can replace you
Displace, or erase you.
Time will douse the pain
Like rain on a burning flame.
Memories will bring smiles
Instead of tears for miles.
I love you, Tim, it's true
And that's why I'm so blue.
Goodbye is hard to say,
But I guess God wanted it this way.
I love you, Tim, my friend
And that will never end.
Being a veterinarian, I was called to examine a ten year old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Sane, were all very attached to Belker and they were hoping for a miracle.
I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family that we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.
As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for the four-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.
The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peaceful away. The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion.
We sat together for a while after Belker's death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.
Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, "I know why."
Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation.
He said, "People are born so they can learn how to live a good life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?" The four-year-old continued, "Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long."
Five Amazing Ways to Remember Your Pet -
* Host a memorial - Encourage your friends and family members to join you in a celebration of your pet's life. Gather your favorite pictures and memories of your beloved friend and share them with those who attend. Allow others to tell stories of good times with your pet. Remember, you determine the tone of this even but don't be surprised if it takes on a life of its own.
* Journal your feelings - It doesn't matter if you are an exceptional writer. Sometimes writing out your thoughts can be extremely cathartic. Create a poem or story about your pet and how they affected your life or write a letter to them to tell them how much they meant to you. Sometimes looking at things from your pet's perspective can be a healthy way to deal with your grief - Try writing a story about their life from their perspective.
* Create new life - Allow your pet's life and memory to live on in growth. Living memorials can be a great way to do that. Plant a tree or flower that will remind you of them at it grows and flourishes.
* Make a memory album - Take your favorite pictures or small tokens belonging to your pet and create a memory album or a shadow box.
* Keep or spread your pet's ashes - The options in this regard are limitless. Beautiful urns, cremation jewelry, and memorial stones are available to help you display your pet's remains. Choosing a place to bury or spread the remains can also be a great option. Find a place that reminds you of your pet or is meaningful to you and perhaps hold a memorial service there.
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