|Big Girl making a stepping stone last year. |
Perhaps we should make another one this year to include in our pet memorial garden?
Unlike when a human dies, we really don't have real closure to a pet death -- there is no wake, no funeral, no cemetery to visit. Yet pets are clearly important members of our families, and their loss is felt daily, as suddenly we don't have pet dishes to fill or dogs to take outside and walk or to brush or to sit on our feet at night while we watch TV or sleep next to our bed. A small garden in their memory can give families a chance to work on something together, honor their pet, and give a place to grieve or remember them.
|Of course, I don't have the space or the budget to create such a large rainbow, but it is very pretty, isn't it?|
Many plants have different meanings as well. Dogwood trees are often planted in memory of our canine friends and can be a beautiful centerpiece to a garden area. Lavender plants signify love and devotion; rosemary is for remembrance. An all-white garden is also beautiful. (For other ideas, here is a decent page on creating a memorial garden.)
Whatever plants you choose, be sure to consider the amount of sun in the area. A mix of perennials and annuals is also lovely, and give thought to plant sizes at maturity, as well as different textures of plants. Also, consider how much time and care you can give to your garden when planning the size and choosing plants.
Garden ornaments are will personalize your pet memorial garden. When searching online, I found several gardens that were actually where pets' ashes were buried and had little tombstones or name stones. Ours will not be like that, but rather a place to honor our dog's memory. I would still like to include a stone with her name, and PersonalCreations.com offers a very affordable personalized garden stone that one can personalize with the dog breed. (They also offer stones for cats as well.) Many web sites, including Amazon.com, offer garden stones with quotes or images relating to the death of a pet. Some companies even offer pricy options with pet photos on them.
I would actually like to add either one or both of these garden ornaments to my pet garden:
|This one is pricey, but it looks exactly like my Bailey!|
|Looks like my Bailey as well, of course, and I love the heart and wings on it.|
I've had both these garden ornaments bookmarked for a while, but have not broken down and ordered either yet. I'm sure I'll have to get one of them for our garden. I just can't decide which one!
Including the little ones in creating the garden can be a healing experience for them. In addition to planting flowers, have children make stepping stones or other garden ornaments to place in the garden. (The garden could also end up being a place where future pets go to rest, such as goldfish, etc., so keep that in mind regarding the garden location as well as the thoughts of what "creatures" reside in your house.) Creating a safe, peaceful place will help kids with the grieving process.
Other nice touches for a pet memorial garden could include:
- St. Francis of Assisi statue, since he is the patron saint of animals
- a bird feeder or bird bath, to attract wildlife
- angel statues
- solar lights
- a fountain or solar fountain
- garden flag, with pet breed, angel, quote, rainbow, etc.
- a bench or stone seat
Right now I am still deciding exactly where our memorial garden will be. I will be sure to share it with you when we make some progress.
Do you have a pet memorial garden?
What did you include in it?