Life, Death, and Memories

Pet Loss

Our family dog, Aurora, passed away recently while I was far away from my childhood home. We loved her dearly and her memory is forever a blessing. She was nearly fourteen years old, which is well above average for an Alaskan Malamute, and what a great life she had. The only problem is that my dad was struggling with what to do with her remains when he called to share the tragic news. Burying pets is pretty common, but my parents are preparing to sell their house to travel extensively, which has been one of their lifelong goals. Nobody was sure about the specifics of burying her remains in a cemetery. I’m still struggling to reconcile her loss, having had no chance for a meaningful farewell. I don’t want anything bad to happen to her remains. What are the options in these situations?

The loss of a beloved pet, especially one spanning your childhood, is almost always devastating to those left behind. That’s why the grieving process is so essential to your recovery. While it’s certainly tragic that you weren’t given the chance to say a proper goodbye, that doesn’t mean you can’t find ways now to memorialize her life and death. In fact, one could argue that you really ought to do so.

Akin to the aftermath of a human loss, the death of our animal companions requires significant emotional and psychological coping. It’s normal for pet owners to contemplate the existential nature of life after death, even if only to ease their own emotional turmoil. You might consider facing internal conflict with the support of loved ones in lieu of doing so alone. Unlike owning and then having lost a personal pet, you have family members who share similarly fond memories. Never underestimate the power shared memories can hold when it comes to reconciliation and recovery.

Deciding exactly what to do with the remains of our deceased pets has been the topic of much debate more recently. Suffice it to say that some pet owners take extraordinary measures to ensure a lavish afterlife. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with such practices so long as they were carefully considered. For instance, a more traditional burial might be an appealing but cost-prohibitive option for some families. Others might struggle separately with the logistics of the matter.

Reasonable options do exist for those scenarios. Experts report that cremation is becoming an increasingly popular alternative for those with more limited financial means. As you might imagine, the approach is equally attractive to former pet owners with identical struggles. It could definitely be worthwhile exploring the possibility of pet cremation services, which would obviate the need to find a permanent resting place for your beloved Aurora.

Weigh the pros and cons with great care, and be confident in your choice. The grieving process will only be made more difficult if you regret the decision. When you’re ready, you might even entertain the thought of adopting another pet, as many owners do.

“Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet.” -- Colette

UTA Radio on Facebook

Twitter Feed

UTA News