Several weeks, maybe even months, before we said goodbye to our sweet girl Jenna I started to think about how we would honor her when she was gone. She was a four-legged member of our family for more than 18 years, so I knew we needed to do something special. While it wasn’t the easiest research I’ve ever done, I knew I would be disappointed in myself if I didn’t do anything to honor her life and all she had given to our family over the years.
Much like losing a human loved one, this is the type of decision that is intensely personal and very different for every family. We rent our property so we knew burial wasn’t going to be an option for us, which meant that cremation was the best choice. A secondary decision to cremation is whether or not to have your pet privately cremated and have the ashes returned to you. Paul and I talked at length as we agonized over this part of the decision and I can honestly say it was much more difficult than I expected. In the end we knew that having Jenna’s ashes here in our home would not be the same as having her physically here, so we decided against a private cremation. I know it was the best decision for us, but that doesn’t mean it was easy and didn’t come with a lot of tears. Gosh, I miss her. So very much.
I learned about so many different ways to honor a deceased pet when I searched online and while some of them were a little extreme for me, I came up with something that our entire family thought would be the most wonderful way to memorialize Jenna. I decided to find photos and create a collage for our wall. At first I was a bit nervous because I honestly wasn’t sure how many photos I had actually taken of Jenna in her younger years and more importantly I wasn’t sure of the quality of those photos if I did take them and was able to find them. I was pleasantly pleased to find several pictures that brought back many heartwarming memories of when she was young and full of energy. Even though this has been an extremely difficult time for me (and my family) she really did live a long and wonderful life and we are so very fortunate to have been her human family.