These days, our pets are considered more than just pets. They are important members of our families, and their losses can be as painful as any other loss. You might even feel like when they die, a part of you dies with them. And while there are common traditions in place to pay our respects when people pass away, it’s much less commonplace to do those things for our beloved pets. So, how do we cope with the loss of a pet?
When your pet has died and you can’t stop crying, finding a personal way to honor the memory of your furry friend – and celebrate the special bond you had with them – can be a way to help ease the pain of saying goodbye. Here are 5 ways to honor the memory of your special cat.
1. Create a Living Memorial
Let your kitty’s spirit live again on earth, by planting a tree or flower in your yard. Or grow a potted plant in your home, in your pet’s honor. If your cat has been cremated, you can even mix a bit of the ashes into the soil so it’s like your pet is, in essence, growing again in a different form. If you plant a tree, you can place a memorial stepping stone under the tree. When the tree is tall enough to make shade, put a bench under it to sit and relax. Visit the tree or garden whenever you miss your pet and feel comforted in the memory of your beloved furry friend.
2. Commission a Portrait of the Pet you Lost
One of the most treasured keepsakes I have to look at when I’m missing my “heart kitty” that’s no longer here is an oil painting of her that I had commissioned shortly after she passed away. A beautiful, colorful artist’s rendition of my cat hangs proudly on the wall and warms my heart every time I look at it. It brings back all the wonderful memories we shared together. You can hire an artist to paint your pet working from your favorite photograph. Or, if you’re feeling really bold you can get a more permanent portrait on your skin. Cat tattoos are wildly popular these days.
3. Memorial Jewelry to Remember Your Lost Pet
There are so many options in wearing jewelry to remember your beloved kitty. Did your cat wear an ID tag? You could go as simple as wearing his tag as a memento or keeping it on your keychain so you’ll have it with you everywhere you go. There are many discreet and beautiful options for wearing a pinch of your kitty’s ashes inside a pendant. Or, opt to have ashes turned into an unbelievably gorgeous and unique work of art.
4. Pay It Forward
A lovely way to honor your cat’s legacy is to donate to a good cause in her name. Whether it be the animal shelter you rescued her from or some other cause you feel strongly about, you’ll be helping out others and preserving your cat’s memory. Additionally, if your cat was ill before passing, remember to donate any leftover medication or prescription food you may have had to another cat in need. Your veterinarian may know of a patient that could desperately use the donation. It could go a long way in helping another cat that’s going through the same difficult time your sweet baby went through.
5. Adopt Again to Help Ease the Pain of Losing a Pet
When you’re ready, you’ll likely want to welcome a new kitty into your home and show it the same kind of love you shared with your late friend. It may be weeks or it may be years – everyone grieves at their own pace. You decide when the time is right, but adopting again and saving another cat may be the very best way of all to honor the memory of your beloved kitty. Your new bundle of joy will never be a replacement but a wonderful way to help mend your broken heart and remind you of the unique joy pet parenthood can bring into your life.
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