End of Life Issues
It is indeed good to honor a beloved animal after death. Getting through the awesome loss is a devastating experience, but it can help immensely with the healing by turning the death into a celebration of a life. There are countless ways to honor your animal, and most of them are very comforting and nurturing, especially when children are the main survivors.
Generally it is important to have a ceremony, if only for your immediate family. Many families take great care and give thoughtful consideration to the planning and implementation of a family farewell ceremony. It has enormous value emotionally and psychologically to create rituals that may or may not involve; making a coffin, a grave marker, having music and singing and/or prayers being said at the ceremony. It may involve an actual burial or the spreading of the ashes, at one of your animal’s favorite places.
The beautiful thing is that it is all up to the individual or the family to decide exactly what they want or don’t want to make it meaningful and memorable. It is also a comforting feeling afterwards to be able to look back on that ceremony knowing in your heart that you indeed did honor your beloved animal and said goodbye with reverence and gratitude for the joy they brought into your lives.
One of the most beautiful true stories I have heard about an animal burial is about a cherished horse that was dearly loved. He was buried in a beautiful field where he used to run, on a bed of hay and sunlight streaming down on his glistening body. After the prayers were spoken, everyone there threw red roses down into the grave on top of his body. He was literally covered in roses. It was a beautiful sight to behold. No one who was there that day will ever forget it. What a beautiful send off, and how bittersweet.