Should I Have A Memorial Service For My Dog?

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

Question:

My best friend–a terrier–has just died and I want to have a memorial service for her. Is this weird?

Answer:

What I hear you wanting is “permission” to have this service, and I highly encourage you to pay tribute to a life shared with your beloved furry friend. A memorial service, an important ritual, is a beautiful way to honor your love.

As you plan the service, there are a few things to consider. A question many people have is, “How do I invite people to a memorial service for a pet?” When you think about it, what you are really wanting people to do is to support you during this very difficult time. Therefore, the invitation may look something like this:

“My friend, you know how much Mico meant to me. I am really grieving during this very difficult time and am having a service to honor Mico and how special she was in my life. As a friend, I’d like your support on Saturday at 2 p.m. to celebrate Mico’s life.”

The service can include aspects such as:

  • A DVD depicting the life of your pet
  • Special readings that could include poems, letters, and memory stories
  • A eulogy recounting your pet’s life
  • A memory table set up that could include your pets favorites: toys, treats, collar and leash, blanket, clothes, as well as flowers and candles
  • The reading of Rainbow Bridge

There are also ways to get your friends involved in the service and honor your pet:

  • Have your friends bring written stories that you can include in a scrapbook.
  • Take a donation of food items, toys, money and other pet related items to donate to a local shelter is a way to give back to the needy pets.
  • Plant a tree or flower in honor of your pet.
  • Place a rock in your flower garden.
  • Organize a walk in memory of your pet, donating the money to a favorite pet charity.

As Dr. Alan Wolfelt says, “When words are inadequate, have a ceremony.” Please, do, celebrate this special relationship!