Even the Tiniest of Pets are Remembered at Pet Memorial Sunday Ceremony September 10


The second Sunday of September was set aside as a time to remember our pets by the International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories. Deb has hosted a ceremony on Pet Memorial Sunday since 2005 for families who have lost a pet.

“Our society does not normally have a ritual to help families transition through the loss of a pet. This event is an effort to meet that need,” said Deb.

Chartiers Custom Pet Cremation will host its annual Pet Memorial Day remembrance ceremony on Sunday, September 10, 2017 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Melrose Cemetery in Bridgeville. Anyone who is dealing with grief over the loss of a pet is welcome to attend.

As part of the ceremony three speakers discuss our relationships with our pets before and after their death: “Our Last Moments Together”, “Our Grief Response” and “The Joy of Pets: Adopting Again After Loss”.

Families can add their part to the ceremony

Pet owners in attendance are also invited to offer their own “Words of Tribute” which are read by the speakers as part of the ceremony. Participants’ tributes share with all attending what was so very special about their departed pet.

“Keeping a tribute to your pet to only 50 words can be a challenge,” said Deb Chebatoris, owner of Chartiers Custom Pet Cremation, “but limiting your remembrance to 50 words helps you to focus on the essential elements that made your pet special.” Deb has tips and examples on her website to help illustrate a meaningful tribute.

“In remembrance of Hobbes, a little black cat who lived life at full speed, loved with his whole heart and had something to say about absolutely everything.  You taught me the importance of not taking things too seriously. I miss you every day.”

“Lacey was a seven pound Maltese ball of fluff (hence her affectionate name ‘Peach’). She had the heart of a lion, the smarts of a sheepdog and the demeanor of a wise old owl. She loved being a part of everything we did and was simply ‘one of the girls’.”

Families are also encouraged to bring a photo or memento of their pet to be displayed during the ceremony.

While holding a lit candle, attendees are given a Release Recitation focusing on the transition from being in this life to being a treasured memory.

The dove release

One of the most touching parts of the ceremony is the dove release. To symbolize letting go, a single white dove is offered to each person to touch. Each touch is a final goodbye, a transfer of the family member’s grief and a release of the soul of their beloved pet as the dove rises to the sky.

 A permanent remembrance

 After the ceremony pet owners who wish to participate may submit their pet’s photo and tribute which, along with photos and remarks from that year’s event, are made into a video/slideshow, the “Tribute Scroll”, added to the CCPC website for families who wish to remember the day and share it with family and friends. Tribute Scrolls from 2010 to 2016 can be viewed at www.ccpc.ws/tribute-scroll/.

 Please RSVP

The gathering will be held under a tent in the cemetery rain or shine. Light refreshments are served afterward as families are invited to share their experiences with each other and speak to the presenters.

For more information, please visit www.ccpc.ws/pet-memorial-sunday. Call Deb to RSVP at 412-220-7800 by Friday, September 8. If you wish to compose a tribute, please send that by Friday, September 8. The Pet Memorial Sunday page on the site includes an e-mail address and fax for Deb as well as instructions for composing and sending your Words of Tribute.

Also, in order to provide a peaceful environment for all, it is not appropriate to bring live pets to this event.

To read about past Pet Memorial Sunday celebrations, visit the CCPC’s blog “Animus” and read “Pet Memorial Sunday 2011”.

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