By Sharon Callahan
The hurt we embrace becomes joy.
Call it to your arms so it can change.
Even after the soul has made its transition, the body itself is a sacred vessel and should be handled with the utmost tenderness and respect. After the animal's body has lain to rest for a three day period, or a time period which you have determined is appropriate for your individual situation, move the animal's body gently to the burial site or the crematorium if cremation is chosen. If the body is cremated, bring the ashes home as soon as possible.
If you have friends who love animals as deeply as you do, you might invite them to join you in your memorial ceremony. Whether burying the body or keeping the animals ashes in an urn, a sacred ceremony completes the cycle, honors the animal, and allows the grieving process to unfold in a natural way for all concerned.
If the animal's body is to be buried prepare the site if you didn't do so before the animals death. If you received communication from the animal via an animal communicator, combine the animal's requests with your own special desires for the burial site. Perhaps choose a corner of your yard the animal loved the most. Under a favorite tree or in a favorite resting spot are good choices. You might have a special box created to hold the animal's body, or you may choose to lay the body on a favorite blanket or on a bed of flowers, leaves or rose petals. During telepathic communication with animals before or after their death, many express a desire that their bodies return to the earth that they loved so much. You might want to plant something special over the animal's grave that has special significance to you and to the animal. Forget-Me-Nots, roses, a small flowering bush or tree are all beautiful choices.
Once the animal's body is positioned in the grave you might want to cover it with flowers, flower petals or a clean white cloth if the body is not in a box. Mementos, a photo of yourself, a child's drawing, are all lovely things to include before covering the body with earth.
Read a favorite prayer, poem, spiritual passage or speak spontaneous words of your own choosing as earth is being returned to the grave. Ask others present if they would like to say a word or a prayer. If children are present, it can be especially useful for them to express their feelings and emotions at this time. Once the grave has been again covered with earth, flowers can be planted, or a special rock or garden statue can be placed at the site. Perhaps an angel, a statue of St. Francis or the Blessed Mother.
Some people worry that they might move from their present home someday and have to leave the animal's grave behind. If this thought is worrisome to you consider a reputable animal cemetery or a place in nature to which you can return when you desire. Many people take comfort in being able to see the animal's resting place from a window in their home. To others this would be too
painful. There is no right or wrong way to grieve or to handle the details after the death of a loved one. Honor your own feelings and intuitions. However you choose to honor your beloved friend, your love will be felt not only by your animal's soul, but all animals who have died without someone to love them will benefit as well. Your love and your final acts of kindness will be felt throughout all realms and dimensions adding to the healing of the sacred bond between animals and human beings.