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The importance of saying goodbye

August 12, 2009

Finding ways to say goodbye to your beloved pet can be difficult and challenging when the loss is so new. Each member of the family may be dealing with their loss in different ways. As a family or individual it is often a good idea to develop a few rituals and create a little ceremony of your own to help with the grieving process.

What is a ritual?

A ritual is an activity that is performed (individually or in a group) that helps give expression or says something about a person/s beliefs and culture. It is often a learnt behaviour where the activity is repeated and doesn’t change over time. One can have daily rituals like taking your pet for a walk or rituals that are only performed at specific stages of ones life.

Developing a series of rituals to express the passing of your pet may assist in enabling you to say goodbye.

Creating rituals

Put aside a period of time to think about what you would like to do. The rituals/ceremonies work best with a bit of forward planning. Write down all the good things about your pet, what they meant to you. You may wish to read a poem, light a candle and/or incense. You may also want to include their collar, identity tag or special toys as part of the ritual.

Find a place or space that is special for you and your pet, somewhere possibly in the garden or a quiet reflective space you can go visit to be alone with your memories. Once you have identified this special place and performed your rituals find a way to mark the spot so you may return whenever you have a need.