Memorial Services for Pets Becoming a National Trend

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"Rainbows & Bridges: An Animal Companion Memorial Kit" available to help bereaved individuals and children through the challenges of pet loss now that animals are members of the family.

Many people associate memorial services, cemeteries, burials, cremations, tombstones, urns, scattering of ashes, and newspaper obituaries only with humans. But the national trend now is to consider pets living in the home as members of the family.

When a pet dies, people are dignifying this significant and devastating loss with practices that are similar to those used for a person's death. 360 million pets are in 69 million American households. Most pets these days are treated as furry children and loving friends with people buying holiday gifts and throwing birthday parties for them.

To address the growing need for mourning the death of an animal in the family, clergy members Allen and Linda Anderson designed Rainbows & Bridges: An Animal Companion Memorial Kit. This heartwarming, unique, and comprehensive set of materials consoles the bereaved as they attempt to heal from a loss that can be as severely damaging as the death of a human yet is often trivialized by others outside the family.

The Andersons, founders of the Angel Animals Network, honestly address the spectrum of feelings that arise after the loss of an animal companion -- despair, loneliness, anger, alienation, disappointment, and self-doubt. Candid about their personal experiences with pet loss, the Andersons present moving stories and experiences of others who have struggled and recovered.

Filled with inspirational ideas and exercises, Rainbows & Bridges walks adults, children, and even, other animals in the household through a process the Andersons call organic grieving. It helps people remember the past, mourn in the present, and find hope for the future.

Allen Anderson says, "We designed the components of "Rainbows & Bridges" so that people could hold memorial services themselves or ask a clergy member to honor a deceased animal. These days, people don't want to just dispose of their pet's body. They want a dignified ritual to help them mourn the passing of their beloved animal friend."

The kit contains:

"Finding Comfort after the Loss of Your Animal Friend"

--160-page book offers guidance on every aspect of grief and shows how to begin find other ways to fill the important needs an animal companion has met. It encourages people to let grief follow its natural course from sadness to recovery.

"Celebration of a Life Journal"

--A 70-page booklet with questions and prompts and space for writing down thoughts and feelings to keep a scrapbook or create mementos that honor and remember a pet.

Meditation Cards

-- A 25-card set of reflections for gaining peace and perspective about an animal companion who has made a special contribution to the lives of those who miss him or her.

Memorial Services

--Instructions and readings to enable anyone to hold a memorial service by choosing or mixing elements from three types of services:

Christian, secular, and nature-based.

The Rainbow Bridge Story

--An illustrated card containing the touching legend of the Rainbow Bridge, where animals go after they die until reuniting with their human companions and crossing the bridge together.

Photo Frame

--The front cover of the box is a frame for displaying a photo of the beloved pet.

Memento Container

--A beautifully illustrated box for keeping items such as the animal's favorite toy.

Ideal for individuals, couples, and families who have lost a pet due to death, disappearance, disaster, or any other circumstance, Rainbows & Bridges makes a thoughtful and supportive gift to express condolences, offer compassion, and aid with the healing process.

Rainbows & Bridges: An Animal Companion Memorial Kit * October, 2005 * Animals/Gift * 6 x 8 * $24.95 * ISBN 1-57731-503-0

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