When it comes to losing a pet, we can experience such a range of emotions and despair that it can be hard to think straight about next steps. The thought of planning a pet memorial service can seem like a very daunting task, especially in the midst of grieving. It can be really difficult to come with a clear plan for planning such a special service.
While the tone is somber, remember that this is an opportunity to celebrate the life and love of your pet. The pet memorial service can be a celebration of the wonderful times you shared, despite your pain and sadness. One very simple place to start in thinking about possible theme ideas is “what was your pet’s favorite toy?” This may sound like a very simple place to start, but can be very telling about one of the colorful aspects of your pet’s personality. What activities made them come to life and show their personality? What did they do that made you laugh? What was unique about your pet? As we all know, some of our pets have huge personalities and wonderfully unique characteristics that are definitely worth celebrating.
Another thing to consider is “what you will do with your pet’s remains?” The answer to this question will have an impact on the location of your memorial service which can affect the theme that you choose. For example, will you have them buried, either in your yard or in a pet cemetery with a pet grave marker with an outside ceremony? Or will you have your pet cremated and placed into a pet urn that you will display in your home? Whatever the decision, you can create a pet memorial service that reflects the depth of the love you shared with your pet.
There are great theme options for either one of these types of services. For example, if you plan to hold the service at a pet cemetery or other outside facility, the tone of it may be more formal. Perhaps you could do a “Memories” theme, decorating with photos of your pet and putting their image on some of the accessories, such as napkins or a cake.
What did your pet love? If your dog loved bones or your cat loved mouse toys, make the entire theme, including décor and accessories, about that particular item. A bone shaped cake or tiny mice on the top of party cups might also make an interesting touch. Decorate with art of your pet playing with their toy and encourage guests to share anecdotes about what their pet’s favorite toy is and why.
If you are holding a pet memorial service at home, then you have a bit more freedom to incorporate some more unique elements. A good example of this would be a “Love Your Pet” service, in which you celebrate the life of your pet while encouraging guests to bring along their pets. You could have two tables, one for pet owners and a small gathering of treats for the pets that come as well. Goodie bags could feature coupons for pet items as well as actual pet treats.
While planning a pet memorial service is done during a very difficult and challenging time for any pet owner, it is still important that it reflect the joy and warmth your pet brought to your heart.