Losing a pet is never easy, but a creative and respectful memorial project can help bereaved owners work through their grief. Building or doing something beautiful in your pet’s memory allows you to channel sorrow into positive emotion. If the lost companion was a family pet, memorial projects also provide an opportunity to discuss the pet and your loss with the rest of your family. Children in particular need organized memorial activities to remember a lost pet.
Plant a Garden
One great way to memorialize a pet is to plant beautiful perennials in his honor. Lavender is one hardy perennial that is also useful for projects such as soaps, lotions and candles that can be made as a family. An annual celebration of your pet’s life might involve harvesting your homegrown lavender and cooking or making soap together using the lavender planted in the pet’s memory.
An annual vegetable garden dedicated to a loved companion animal can also be an excellent memorial. If your departed dog particularly enjoyed one or another vegetable, plant and nurture it in his honor each year.
Name a Star
Want to remember your pet every time you look into the sky? You can name a star in your pet’s honor. The star you name likely will not be visible with the naked eye from Earth, but you’ll get a card that tells you where it is and certifies that it’s been named for your pet. If there are any astronomers in the family, pay them a visit and ask for help looking at your star in a high-powered telescope!
Dedicate a Family Day of Service
One of the most powerful ways to memorialize a lost pet is a day of service. It doesn’t need to cost you a dime and you’ll make a big, memorable impact. Round up the departed pet’s family and friends and pick a service project to work on together. You could band together to make repairs on a neglected animal shelter building, bathe all the dogs for adoption at a local shelter, canvass the neighborhood to collect dog food and blankets for a shelter… the possibilities are endless.
You could even make your family day of service an annual event. Some groups print tee shirts to wear as “uniforms” while serving their community, and as mementos after the day of service is over. Whatever you do, take lots of photographs and encourage everyone who was close to the departed pet to participate.