On August 28th, we will acknowledge Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day. This day was started by author Deborah Barnes as a way to set aside time to remember our beloved pets who have passed on. In case you are not familiar, when a pet passes away, they are believed to cross a Rainbow Bridge and are waiting for us on the other side. Even if you haven’t recently lost a pet, you may have memories of a childhood pet that you hold dear to your heart. Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day is a perfect time to recall the great memories you had with your dog, cat, or other pet.
While friends or family may not understand the grief of losing a pet, studies show that the pain of losing a pet can be just as severe as losing a family member. We grow accustomed to having our pets near us every day, they are always happy when we come home, they comfort us when we are ill or sad, and become a true companion for us.
We have put together a few ideas for memorializing your pet, feel free to do as much as you are comfortable with, as this can help with the grieving process.
1. Change your profile picture. You may want to make your pet your profile picture for the day, as a way to honor them.
2. Make a social media post. Whichever social media site you use, you can add multiple photos and a little description for your beloved fur-baby.
3. Have a stuffed animal replica made of your lost pet. There are many providers on Etsy, one we found is called FiberFriends. https://www.etsy.com/shop/FiberFriends Etsy also has several artists who will paint a portrait of your pet from a photo you send them. This is a great way to have something around to remind you of them.
4. Create a piece of jewelry. If your pet was cremated, many local jewelers will use some of the ashes to make a diamond. You can use this for a necklace, ring, or almost any type of jewelry.
5. This may be controversial for some, but many pet lovers will get a tattoo to memorialize their pets. This can be something simple, such as a name, paw print, or outline of the pet. We recommend truly thinking over this decision, as tattoos are very permanent, but we haven’t met anyone yet who has regretted getting a tattoo to commemorate their beloved animal.
6. Make a planter. You can use your dog or cat’s water bowls to plant flowers or even succulents in. Depending on their collar size, some people are able to glue the collar around the bowl to add an extra special touch.
7. Make a bracelet from their collar. This works best with a leather or nylon collar. You can also make this from their leash. It is fairly simple, and there are several tutorials on YouTube and Pinterest, or just Google a “how-to” video.
8. Create a shadowbox. You can find a shadowbox kit at almost any craft store or order one online. You can include things like their collar or tags, a few photos, and maybe a few of their favorite toys.
9. Put together a photo collage. All you would need is a frame, glue, scissors, poster board, and print a few photos of your pet. This will help bring back fond memories, as you go through old photos of your time together.
10. If you prefer to have everything online, you can utilize an online app to put your create a video from photos of your dog. This will play like a slide show and you can add music. You will be able to download, share, or upload it to social media sites as well.
Grief is a powerful emotion that we all experience differently. It is not something that passes quickly, and it can resurface at any time. If posting something publicly helps with your grieving process, that is okay. Just as if creating something for only you to view is okay as well. We hope that these ideas will help you find a way to memorialize and honor your pets that have passed on.