Memorial Day: Celebrating the Heroes we’ve lost.

Memorial Day is a day we celebrate the memory of the heroes we’ve lost.  Veterans who have participated in wars are honored for their sacrifice.  This is a day celebrated on the last Monday of May each year in the United States.

But did you know that the 2nd Tuesday of June each year celebrates your furry family members who are no longer with you?  Well now you do.

What is World Pet Memorial Day?

This day was created by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) to be a time for pet owners to celebrate and remember pets who have passed away.

Losing a pet is a unique experience that non-pet lovers do not understand. As a result, it can be difficult for pet owners to fully grieve a loss of a furry companion and receive the support they need. In addition, the loss of a pet is unique in that our pets rely on us for their care from the birth through their senior years. In many cases, we experience their entire lives with them, from start to finish, in a quite different dynamic from what we share with the humans in our lives.

According to Psychology Today, when you “allow your body to experience a different emotion and help bring you from pain into gratitude for the time spent together over time.”  It doesn’t matter if the pet has passed away recently or in years past, it is comforting to create memorials so that their presence is felt even if they are no longer with us.

Ways to Memorialize Your Pet

There are many ways to memorialize your pet to keep them close to your heart. Here are some meaningful ways to keep the memories of your pets with you after they have passed away.

1. Commission a Painting of Your Pet

Many artists accept commissions, which are requests for specific pieces of artwork. A commissioned pet portrait will give you a stunning piece of artwork that you can hang in a prominent place in your home. You can also display other items near the painting, such as your pet’s collar and tags in a shadowbox, a favorite framed photograph, or their ashes on a table under the portrait.

If you do not have a favorite artist, you can find many artists who specialize in pet portraits through an internet search. Once you have chosen an artist, it is important to share as many good-quality photographs as possible so that the artist can see the detail in your pet’s features. You should also include photographs that convey your pet’s personality. This will help the artist create a memorable piece of art for you.

2. Get a Tattoo of Your Pet

Once considered somewhat taboo, tattoos have become a meaningful way of memorializing lost loved ones. Getting a tattoo to memorialize your pet is an extremely therapeutic way of keeping them close to you forever. In fact, mental health expert Dan Reidenberg explained the benefits of memorial tattoos in an article in The Huffington Post. In the article, he explained, “Memorial tattoos help keep someone we lost close to us. Literally, they become part of us.” 

Some ideas for memorial tattoos of your pet include your pet’s paw print, their name, their portrait, or a paw with an infinity sign. Because tattoos are a permanent part of your body, it is important to research different tattoo artists to find one whose style you like. When researching a tattoo artist to do a pet memorial tattoo, make sure you find someone who is experienced with good lines and shading and adheres to strict hygiene rules. The best designs come from skilled artists who are given some artistic license to create a truly special design based on your photos and input.

3. Turn Your Pet’s Ashes into Jewelry

Turning a pet’s cremated remains into jewelry is another way to keep your pet’s memories physically close to you. Although this option can be expensive and not for everyone, the way it works is that ashes are heated to over 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit so that they become a gemstone. The gemstone can then be put into a setting for a ring or necklace that you can wear.

A less expensive option is to have your pet’s ashes mixed with glass or metal and turned into a piece of jewelry. You can find a variety of jewelry makers and artisans who perform this function. Another alternative to having your pet’s cremation turned into jewelry is to purchase a piece of jewelry that holds their ashes or a small amount of their fur in a capsule.


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