Are funeral homes for pets over the top?
I promise this is my last post on pet loss, and before anyone jumps all over me for raising these questions, let me state emphatically that grief rituals are for the comfort of the grieving. Whatever path you choose for yourself, your family or your pets, it is about doing what feels supportive and right for you and your family.
So back to the original question about pet funeral homes…
Although there are similarities in different kinds of losses, I still feel uncomfortable, queasy actually, with formalized death rituals for pets though I have created informal ones for all of mine and most of them have been buried in the backyard with tears and a prayer.
Here are some of the questions the whole idea raises for me…
• Are pet funeral homes meeting a real need or are they trying to create a need that isn’t really there? Are they helping or are they just taking advantage of people?
• Pet loss is a hot topic on the internet. Is that because it’s a disenfranchised loss that needs attention? Or is the grief over a pet displaced grief from other losses?
• Culturally, pets do seem to be taking up more of our emotional energy than they ever have before. Is this healthy? What is it about our personal relationships that is elevating the relationship with our pets in this way? Or is there even a connection?
• Would we be better off if our human funeral rituals were less formal and more personalized? Though many of our rituals are very helpful, could they be more helpful if we did them differently? Or maybe it’s that I’d really prefer to grieve my family as I do my pets…privately, naturally and at home.
Maybe pet funeral homes feel creepy to me because I’ve considered things I ultimately rejected because they just didn’t feel right. Pet cemeteries, crematoriums and even taxidermy just felt wrong, so very wrong for me and my pets.
Besides, had I gone the formal route, I never would have seen Jesse (Golden Retriever) lay down her beloved Kong as a gift to the recently deceased Toni Cat.
Thots? Feel free to share below.