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How can I make the funeral ceremony even more meaningful?
Can I add religious content into a Celebrant-led funeral service?
Should I have a pet funeral?
Pets come in all shapes and sizes, from palm sized scaled creatures to huge, furry four legged friends. But the love and bond between you and your pet is regardless of size or species. Pets offer us relationships similar to those we have with members of our family. They provide companionship, loyalty, comfort, adventure and so much more. So, when that family member passes away we feel that loss just like any other.
Choosing to hold a celebrant led pet funeral ceremony gives you the time to say goodbye, to respect and honour that companion. You can choose a formal ceremony or a simple gathering of those who have lost. The choice is yours. Depending on your local area, ceremonies can be held at private homes, memorable places and designated pet cemeteries or natural burial grounds.
Why do people choose to have a pet funeral?
There is still a taboo surrounding grieving for a lost pet. People still feel it is something foolish or unimportant, saying you can get another one. But pets are an essential part of our families. Having the space to grieve and express emotion is part of the journey. It can often be the first time children experience loss or mourning. They too should be given time and place to express how they feel. Creating a ceremony with a celebrant enables everyone to share their grief and remember their beloved pet.
What can you include in a pet funeral?
You can include as part of your ceremony a moment of reflection where silent prayer can be made. You can of course include a religious prayer if this is important to you. Your location is something very personal to you and your pet too. When considering where to hold your ceremony, there are crematoriums, chapels and cemeteries that offer space for pet funerals. But you may also want to consider holding your farewell at home. Did they have a favourite place to walk, a spot in the garden where they could always be found? Maybe a chair in the home where they napped? Choosing where to hold your ceremony should be given careful thought.
Talk about what your pet meant to you, share stories and memories of your friend. Gather all their favourite toys, blankets, collars and so on and have those present as your say goodbye. You could even watch videos of your pet; these are a great way to create a relaxed and lighter atmosphere at the ceremony. You may choose to have your pet cremated or buried. A celebrant will of course personalise your ceremony to reflect these wishes. And you may choose to make a formal plaque, designate a bench, or plant a tree in memorial too.
Whatever you choose to do, honouring a pet with a funeral ceremony is a wonderful and meaningful acknowledgement of your relationship and bond.
Photographer Credit: Brandy Britton