≡ Menu

Pet Memorials Beautiful Art For A Difficult Time

The death of a pet can be emotionally difficult. Sadness and tears are to be expected, even from the most stoic of adults. To keep the sadness from turning into emptiness, however, pet owners should consider planning ahead. Mental health and pet care experts offer many ideas for how to deal with the emotional strain of simply leaving a pet behind for, say, a family vacation. And we have adapted some of these ideas to help those struggling with the death of a pet. In general, the ideas are for ways to create on-the-spot celebrations of a pet’s life. The experts aim is for travelers who sometimes find them selves feeling blue because their pet is not nearby to have a way to almost instantly celebrate their pet’s life either privately or, perhaps, with their fellow travelers. This same overall approach works well as a pet memorial for those whose pets have passed away.

But, that said, the approach does require some planning and foresight. One of the suggestions, for example, is to create a simple photo album with touching photos of your pet. One expert tells of a case in which a man who secretly prepared an album of photos of his wife’s beloved dog, and he presented the book to her on the morning her two-month business trip began. The photos in the book ranged from the time in which the dog was a cute, cuddly puppy up to the family’s most recent journey to the beach with the dog, just a few days before the woman’s trip. The woman was, most certainly, very sad to be leaving her special friend behind for two months, but the photo album, she reports, made the parting much easier than it had been for previous trips.

With attention to planning and a devoting to updating, photo books like the one the man made for his wife can make excellent pet memorials, experts say. The catch is that, to be most effective, those who make the albums must be a bit of a shutterbug, always snapping new pictures of the pet and always preparing them for the album. This can be a fun experience for the life of the pet, however, and, certainly, it will result in a fitting, beautiful memorial after the pet has died. Photo books and albums are just the start of the kinds of pet memorials that can be created from the very beginning of a pet’s life. Many people today build websites devoted to their pets or make home videos of the most special moments with their furry friends. These make perfect pet memorials.

To some, it may seem macabre or strange to begin preparing a pet’s memorial while the animal is still alive. Experts say, don’t think of these projects as memorials. If you think of them as what they are, simple-but-pure celebrations of the animal’s life, they then have the capacity to function as a pet memorial for the days in which the pet will be gone, and as a fun project that will help the whole family enjoy the animal to the fullest extent while it is alive.


Pets and Memorials

Pets, as every owner knows, create special memories that are deserving of great memorials. From cats to dogs to horses to birds to even snakes or ferrets, pets are such a special part of any family that even elaborate memorials for pets are more common today than ever before. Owners of pets have, for centuries, established memorials for their special friends, but in days gone by, this was a tradition mostly reserved for the richest and most powerful people in the world. Scientists have recently uncovered, for example, elaborate memorials left behind for the pets of ancient leaders in Peru. The pets of that society’s most powerful people were commonly memorialized with luxurious graves alongside their owners. Large tombs have recently been discovered that seem to be as much memorials for the king’s pets as they are for the king himself. In other cases, archeologists have found that upper classes of people across the globe have long made it their customer to establish memorials for pets in large, elaborately landscaped, pet cemeteries.

But again, there is little evidence to show that people in the middle and lower classes, until very recently, took much part in this tradition of establishing memorials for pets. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, historians say that even the poorest of American families living in the most remote, rural areas of America began building memorials to their beloved-pets. It is not uncommon, for example, to find family cemeteries 100-200 years old that have at least a small section devoted to memorials for the families pets. Those who might dig up these pets graves, however, would discover that the memorials were usually quite simple. Sturdy headstones were rarely used for memorials for pets, and pets were commonly buried in nothing more than a paper sack (or in some cases nothing at all).

Even a small pet tribute will help heal any broken heart.

Today, though, much more elaborate memorials for pets are an affordable option for millions of families who lose their pets. Luxurious pet caskets and long-lasting pet headstones are now widely available for surprisingly affordable costs. Beautiful pet cremation urns and pet cremation jewelry are also widely available to help families establish in home memorials for their pets. Pets are still often buried, according to tradition, on a families private land or even in a back yard but they also can become part of large cemeteries, much like those of ancient time. Only, the modern cemeteries are open and affordable for pets from families of all classes and backgrounds.

Of course all of this is not to say that, today, all memorials for pets are of the same luxury and elegance. For those who can afford it, pet memorial products are available today that would rival some of the most elaborate memorials of the days when only the pets of kings were memorialized. The difference today is that these products are more common than they once were because, of course, they are not reserved exclusively for the pets of kings.


Memorial Cremation Urns A World of Memorial Uses

Memorial urns today are almost synonymous with cremation, hence they are often called, at least in Western cultures, memorial cremation urns. But, before a discussion of memorial cremation urns proceeds, it might be interesting and useful to think of all the other uses mankind has for urns in general.

In pottery terms, urns are simply vases, and, like vases, they have been put to any number of uses besides the storing of cremation remains. Urns have been used over the years to store water, flowers, and even, in the 16th century, dinner knives.  One of the most famous memorial urns in the world today, in fact, has nothing to do with cremation: an urn is the coveted prize in a legendary biannual cricket competition between England and Australia. The competition is known as The Ashes, and the famous prize is an urn filled with the ashes of a cricket stick that was burned hundreds of years ago, before the competition series began.

Given all of these non-cremation-related uses of urns, it should not be surprising if, in most of the world, where cremation ashes are not necessarily stored in urns, urns are not associated with cremation as readily as they are in the United States. A retailer who runs an “urn store” in, say, New Delhi, India, might in fact be surprised to hear requests for “memorial urns” designed for cremation ashes. It is likely that he or she might never have even considered such a use for the store’s products.

That said, the types of memorial cremation urns intended specially for cremation in the United States, and other Western cultures, vary almost as much as do the other uses for urns. Memorial urns intended for cremation ashes have historically followed classic shapes and designs. The famous “Grecian Urn” is still a model in common use today. (But it is interesting to note that the famous poem by John Keats “Ode to a Grecian Urn” does not specifically mention cremation. In fact, the poem can conceivably be discussing any number of other types of urns.) But memorial urns for cremation are also available in many, many other styles today. Memorial urn selection is as varied as the individuals for whom the urns are to be memorialized. Memorial urns are made of almost every conceivable material, style and design imaginable.  They can be made of wood, bronze, metal, marble, glass, or ceramic, and they certainly do not all follow traditional “Grecian” designs. A quick look at any retailer’s memorial urn selection today, is likely to evoke responses ranging from “weird” to “interesting” to “beautiful” to “wild.” And, most certainly, the final reaction to at least one piece will usually be “perfect.”

Whatever their design or style, memorial cremation urns remain timelessly appropriate for memorializing a loved-one because they can be personalized. The décor of memorial urns can speak volumes about the people the urns memorialize, assuring that memories stay alive for generations to come. So, while cremation and memorial urns may be synonymous with cremation in only parts of the world, there is definitely a wide variety of memorial urns available to make the urns synonymous with any personality and spirit of any man or woman. And that makes memorial cremation urns perfect for remembering your loved one.