Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) September 08, 2013
People often ask Marty Tousley, grief counselor and Pet Loss course instructor at Self Healing Expressions, "Is it appropriate for people to memorialize a cherished companion animal?"
Since September 8th is "Pet Memorial Day," it seems like a good time to share her response to this question.
"Some may think that conducting rituals, funerals or memorial services for dead animals – and setting aside special days to remember them – is a frivolous waste of time and money, and those who engage in such practices must be eccentric and strange," states Tousley.
"But the fact is that elaborate funeral arrangements and lasting memorials have been used to honor beloved departed pets for thousands of years. Whether for animals or humans, death ceremonies and rituals help meet our needs to support one another in grief, acknowledge the important role our loved ones played in our lives, honor the memory of our departed companions, and bring meaning to our loss," she adds.
These comments brought us to our next question of ways to actually pay tribute to our beloved pets.
Tousley continued, "As you think about paying tribute to your animal companion (today or a day of your choosing), feel free to summon up your memories – they'll comfort you and help you keep your animal's love and presence in your heart.
"You might think of what was special about your pet, and reminisce with family members or others who knew your friend. Look over old snapshots. Talk about the funny or silly (or annoying) habits your pet had. Such reflections will help you plan your own unique ceremony of remembrance, and will help you express and work through your grief as well. You can make a special place in your home, yard or workplace that acknowledges and honors your companion's life – a place where you can go (or be) and remember your lost friend."
She concludes, "Don't be afraid to be creative. The death of your pet is a natural event and an occasion for the honest expression of your feelings and your values."
Bereavement Counselor Marty Tousley, CNS-BC, FT, DCC is the creator and instructor of Self Healing Expressions' grief courses including, A Different Grief: Helping You and Your Children with Pet Loss and The First Year of Grief: Help for the Journey.