|Elizabeth Allen is a writer, poet, and blogger who writes books about her life with animals. She is a student in our Animal Hospice Practitioner Certification Program through Animal Hospice Group, bringing what she believes is more accreditation to the field of animal hospice. She has supported pet parents with end-of-life decisions and bereavement support for the past fifteen years. You can check her out at The Caretakers Animal Care.|
Moving Beyond the Urn
~ 12 Unique Ways to Honor Your Pet in the Afterlife | Written by Elizabeth Allen
If you are reading this, chances are you cherish animals as much as we do. Because of your love and dedication to these precious beings, you have probably had to say farewell to many of them in your lifetime. Anyone who has said goodbye to a companion animal has most likely been faced with many options when choosing the most appropriate way to honor their pet in the afterlife. As times have changed and people’s creativity has exploded in the death care industry, we wanted to present customary choices and also offer some perhaps unfamiliar alternatives for you to peruse, so when the time comes, you might be more equipped to make a decision that best celebrates the life, love, and unique bond you shared with your beloved pet.
Finding a pet cremation company that does fire cremation should be easy in your town. They offer standard wooden urns and scatter tubes. Fire cremation has long since been the standard; however, that is now changing for both pets and people, which is a good thing. Photo: Wood Urn/Nameplate (Upgrade) - click here to learn more.
Pet Water/Green/Aqua Cremation
With so many names for the greener option for aftercare, water cremation in and of itself can be a living legacy to your pet, while honoring Mother Nature and the planet. It leaves no carbon footprint and your pet’s ashes will be whiter and brighter with twenty percent more than fire cremation.
Pet Communal Cremation
Whether you choose fire or water cremation, you don’t have to receive the ashes back. They can be taken out to sea, which is where most reputable pet cremation companies eventually send their communal cremains. You can still ask for a clay paw print and a fur-lock even without getting the ashes back.
Pet Home Burial
This has long since been a valid option for many people, with a history that aligns with human burial. Many people choose it due to the cost and also the ritual attached to it and the accessibility to the pet to continue the grieving process. Digging a hole can be cathartic as family and friends can help as you tell stories, have tea, cry and laugh at the antics and joy your pet has given you over the course of their life.
Pet Body Decomposing
Much like burial, this option gives people the opportunity to send their animal back to the earth with minimal disruption to the earth itself. The process is easy to learn and understand and gives the family time to grieve organically. Like home burial, one must own their property and also know what the town/city laws are in regards to choosing this type of aftercare. One who rents their property would do best to choose the next alternative.
Much like pet cremation companies, most towns have a few pet cemeteries that offer cremation and burial. It is a good choice for people who want a place to visit and sit as they go through their own unique bereavement. Some of these cemeteries also offer a communal cremation area, where if you have chosen this type of cremation, you can come and spend time honoring your animal companion.
Scattering of Pet Ashes
This may sound simple, but a lot of thought generally goes into the scattering of ashes which can be infused into a memorial celebration. Such things as the location, the day and time, who will be in attendance, the weather, music, poems and prayers, and a spot for a mini-get-together afterward, might all come into consideration. The scattering of ashes can be a beautiful tribute to a pet and the family who loved them.
Pet Skull and Skeletal Cleaning
Perhaps not as well known, this process is also a nice possibility for many pet parents who want a unique way to remember their beloved animal. Performed by a skilled taxidermist, you can choose the skull or an entire skeletal cleaning. This process takes several months which includes consultations with the taxidermist. Photo: Skull and skeletal cleaning - click here to learn more.
The ancient art of taxidermy is alive and well and pet parents can opt for this selection to preserve their animal companion. Via mounting or stuffing, the skin is preserved and a life-like replica, which degrades over the years, can be returned after many months of careful preparation.
Taking a casting of your pet’s paws or cute nose can be a wonderful way to create something lasting and unique. These castings can be framed in a memory box and placed in the home, or you can make a lovely memorial necklace or keychain with the mold and the assistance of a talented artist. Photo: Paw casting - click here to learn more.
Tattooing with Pet Ashes/DNA/Hair
Many people are electing to remember their beloved pets with a tattoo using their ashes, DNA, or hair. Such a living memorial can be a heartwarming way to create a living legacy and tell stories to friends and family when they notice your new art.
Pet Memorial Jewelry/Glass
There is a myriad of incredible artists to select from today who are infusing ash into art pieces for wear or for show. The choices vary from glorious paperweights to designer jewelry pieces and ornaments. It’s a definite way to continue to sparkle in the afterlife. Photo: Necklace urn - click here to learn more.
Pet Living Reef Memorial
For all those furry friends who loved the ocean, you can choose an eternal reef or a reef ball infused with your pet’s ashes. This can then be placed it in the ocean or a pond as a wonderful living memorial.
Pet Ashes Into Space
We have saved this one for last as it probably won’t be in many people’s budget, yet it still remains an option. Celestis and Beyond Burials are two companies that offer the ability to send your animal’s ashes into outer space so that when you look up at night, you are literally looking at them in the stars.
Pet Coffin Choices
There are many possibilities from traditional to eco-coffins or hand-sewn burial shrouds, or no coffin at all. And let’s not forget about infinity mushroom suits which can be ordered to size for pets – a wonderful choice to allow the body to decompose naturally using the power of mushrooms.
Pet Urn Choices
One can choose a cedar or mahogany wooden urn, an eco-pod or a bio-urn where your animal’s ashes and urn can be placed into the ground as the urn decomposes naturally over time. One can also plant a tree in some bio-urns, literally turning your pet’s ashes into a tree in the afterlife. This offers a wonderful opportunity to create a sacred space to come and sit and chat with your beloved, deceased friend as a way to maintain a continuing bond and aid in the healing process. Photo: Bio urn - click here to learn more.
Whether you prefer to keep or to scatter, to create a living memorial, send your furry friend into the stars, or keep a simple memorial paw print – the options are many. There is a way to honor your pet that suits your desires, your unique bond, and your pocketbook. Choices are a wonderful thing, especially when it comes to the unique journey and art of healing from the passing of a cherished animal companion.
As I remember your face
The sun against my blustery sky
Memorial Globe (ash infused) Size & Color Made to Order - click here to learn more.
Please show us all that you like this article by sharing, commenting, and/or giving this a "LIKE" on Facebook. Photo: Duke’s memorial – Duke was a Betta fish whose parent was our Brighthaven Manager at that time, Susanna.