Many people say they prefer cremation but do they really know what cremation is? Cremation is a process that prepares the body for final disposition – burial, placement in a niche or mausoleum or kept at home. A misconception is that cremation is a final disposition like burial, but it is only a means of reducing the body, by heat, to bone fragments or more commonly known as “ashes”. This is where the big question comes into play – what do I do with the cremated ashes?
I find it interesting that people struggle with how to memorialize the life of a loved one when cremation has been chosen. Families members aren’t sure if they want to take the cremated ashes home or put them in a final resting place, and often times funeral service providers don’t take the time to educate the families of the many options available to memorialize a life lived. This breakdown in communication leaves families members undecided. It is not uncommon for cremated ashes to be left at the place of cremation for months, even years.
The same holds true for pet cremation. Usually the pet is taken to the veterinarian for euthanasia and the family may not be told of the many options available to memorialize the cherished life of their beloved pet. Veterinarians are trained to provide health and well being for your pet but they have very little, if any, training in after-life care. There are many pet crematories, cemeteries and funeral homes that provide excellent after-life care for pets but unfortunately many consumers aren’t aware of these valuable services.
As humans we honor various cultures by following the traditions of both burial and cremation. When it comes to the death of a pet, there are no such traditions. Many times the pet would be buried in the back yard or left at the veterinarian for final disposition.
Today, pet grief is more widely accepted and understood. There are certified pet grief counselors, pet hospice services and full service pet funeral homes that provide embalming and/or cremation. There are many beautiful pet cemeteries across the land that provide a place to memorialize your pet. The options to memorialize your pet’s life are limited only by your mind.
The next time you are faced with dealing with pet loss take the time to research the options available to reflect the life of your pet. You will be amazed how many wonderful services and products are available within your community and on the internet to help guide you through the process of coping with the grief when a pet dies.