Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Pets at the Funeral

Family festivities are not the same without a beloved pet's attendance. Many of pet parents would be comforted to know that their pets might attend their own funeral. Having the pet of the one who has passed at their funeral or memorial service brings the surviving friends and family comfort, as a pet represents a special part of their loved one’s life and happy memories.

Pets provide emotional comfort, which not only cuts through tension, but also lowers anxiety at a funeral. Pets are especially comforting to children and make a welcomed distraction to some of the more emotional moments of the service.

A formally clothed pet shows respect for the deceased and his/her surviving family. Although funeral attire is no longer limited to just black, somber colors are generally considered more respectful than flashy, bright colors. We offer a selection of dressy formal attire for cats and dogs. All outfits shown are funeral appropriate.

The goal of bringing a pet family member to the funeral or memorial is to represent our animal companions, as they should be -- important members of the human family. 

Have you been to a funeral or memorial where pets were in attendance?
Will you request your loved ones to bring your pet to your own service?

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Pet Funerals - Not Just for Dogs and Cats

RIP - Farewell to Catfish, Fish Funeral Brooklyn, NY
Pet parents recently buried their dear Catfish. The family located in Brooklyn, New York describes their dear friend, "We couldn't agree on a name and he seemed like such a special little guy from the start so we simply named him 'Catfish - The Cutest Fish in the World'. He is a Striped Raphael. We have had him for about 7 years now and he has always amazed us."

A Video of Catfish:

Keeping a Pet Catfish

Fish Casket with Flower (Brooklyn, NY)
Catfish's Fish Memorial Headstone (Brooklyn, NY)
Catfish make great pets. Similar to Koi fish, the catfish can recognize its owners and can even follow them around the tank. Catfish exist in a variety of sizes, colors, patterns and personalities. Many catfish are nocturnal, and enjoy eating at night when the aquarium lights are kept off. Catfish can live from 5 to 12 years. Catfish often get along well with other fish species, and are usually peaceful in sharing a pond or aquarium with species. Catfish are actually quite social and prefer to keep company with other catfish. Keeping catfish in groups of 3 or more can add to their happiness and longevity. 

As you can see, pet funerals are an important way to remember a special pet friend, whether furry, feathered, scaled or finned. Doing something on behalf of a beloved companion and creating memorial art is healing.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Cremation Memorial - Natural Stone Garden Urn

Natural Stone Cremation Memorial
Losing a loved one hurts and can be difficult to heal from. However, many find that caring for a tangible symbol helps to heal one's grief. Many studies find that doing things on behalf of the deceased is helpful. By caring for a plant or a tree as part of a living memorial to your loved one, this gives you something special to do for them and another way to remember them as part of your daily life.
If you have cremated remains at your home, you have the option to commemorate a loved one with the creation of a sacred space at home. Although some families may choose to scatter the ashes, bury them, inter them at a cemetery, or keep them in an urn or other special memento, we hope you will consider creating a memorial planting. 

We know that planting is therapeutic, and out of loss can come a positive gathering of family which brings everyone together in supportive care for the bereaved.

Honor someone special, express your grief, beautify your home and bring your family together to remember.

Memorial Garden Urn Garden Urn
This urn sells for $175.00 and includes shipping. Because each stone is natural, the shapes and exact sizes will vary. Generally your memorial stone size is just under: 12 inches x 12 inches by 5.5 inches high. Your memorial is made to order and will be shipped within 2 weeks.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Horticulture Therapy and Memorial Plantings

"From my rotting body, flowers shall grow and I am in them and that is eternity." - Edvard Munch

A Living Tribute in Your Own Backyard

Make your yard into a natural tribute to your beloved. Any yard or patio can become a sanctuary that welcomes wildlife with just a few simple modifications:
~Make Your Patio Permeable -  A porous surface allows water through to the soil, where it is able to soak up rain and inhibit run off.

~Consider designing patios and pathways with pores in order to prevent run off. This also keeps local streams clean.

~Add Water to Your Yard or Patio - A concave rock collects and holds drinking water for insects such as: ladybugs, dragonflies, and more. Birdbaths provide water for birds that is the best depth of water for play, bath time and hydration.

~Widen a Fence - By removing a few panels or widening space between fence panels, small flying wildlife such as small birds or butterflies, can pass through more easily to your garden. Oftentimes, it makes for a nicer view as well.

Memorial Plantings

Memorial horticulture is a simple, fulfilling and beautiful way to honor a loved one. Memorial plantings provide an opportunity to care for the memory of a loved one. 

Your backyard garden or patio can easily be transformed into the ultimate memorial destination that gives you and your family not only the opportunity to honor a loved one at home, but the convenience and privacy of memorializing in your own home.

Memorial Planting Tips for Your Backyard Tribute

Choose a Special Location for a Memorial Planting
Choose a special location for a memorial planting or a spot in present garden that you would like to recreate or add a memorial to. For families with patios, decide which plant pot or pots you will be using and where you would like to place them.

Include trees, ground-covers and shrubs. This helps to provide shelter and food for helpful bugs. By including both broad-leaf and conifer evergreens, this helps provide additional shelter for wildlife during winter.

Planting flowers like tulips, lilies or daffodils can adorn the garden in a beautiful way.

Add flowering plants with pollen to attract butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. Add plants that offer caterpillars leaves to eat.

 Plant a tree decorate it with lights on their birthday each year.

Plant a variety of plants that produces both berries and seeds throughout the year. This helps to feed the birds. (See some ideas in the next section below.)

Hang wind chimes nearby and consider adding pinwheels (as shown in the video below) to catch the wind and make lively patterns.


All-Season Plants for Your Memorial Plantings

Try adding plants that will attract wildlife during each season of the year. In Oregon there are several plants to consider.

Oregon Grape
Oregon Grape Flowers attract mason bees and butterflies. Blue-blackberries are eaten by birds. Beautiful bronze new growth occurs on evergreen leaves. 

 Kinnikinnik Berries are a favorite of birds. Flowers are visited by butterflies and bees. Leaves help feed the butterfly caterpillars. Glossy evergreen leaves are a beautiful addition to any garden or yard.

Red Flowering Currant
Red Flowering Currant Flower nectar feeds hummingbirds. Berries are eaten by birds. Leaves help feed the butterfly caterpillars. Bright pink flowers add vibrant color to any yard or garden.

Western Columbine
Western Columbine - Hummingbirds enjoy the flowers. Seeds are eaten by the birds. Glowing red and yellow flowers brighten up the garden.

Oregon Vine Maple
Vine Maple Seeds are eaten by birds. Leaves help feed the butterfly caterpillars. Nectar from the flowers is collected by bees. The orange and red fall leaves ornament any yard during autumn.

What plantings do you have in your home garden or on your patio? Have you ever designed a memorial that lives in your home garden or patio? If so, what advice can you share with others?

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Funerals and Personal Hopes

Art of the Funeral

A funeral is a collaborative work of performance and art. The funeral is a time for family and friends to support one another, and share intimate memories. A misconception is that a funeral is solely for those who are religious. It is as much a moment of reflection as it is a series of events providing tasks and activities to undertake as an expression of feelings.

Weeping for Ourselves

It is important to note that as much as we grieve for our dead, attending a funeral is just as much about weeping for ourselves. Roussell, describing anticipatory grief writes, “some people have feelings of guilt and anxiety over having too little time to settle issues and put things in order for their loved ones.”1 For others, attending a funeral establishes emotional stability and security through the unspoken promise of reciprocation. 

What do you hope people will remember about you after you die

Supporting One Another


Funerals offered communities the chance to support to one another. For example, in a scene from the French motion picture “Amelie,” the lead character daydreams about her own funeral. She watches the procession on television and weeps at the sight of people mourning her death. We can identify with this girl. We are at center of our own universe and therefore secretly wish for others to mourn our own deaths. The funeral rite gives us the opportunity to act for others as we would wish them to act for us. When we grieve for others, we subconsciously grieve for ourselves. 

We want our presence to be missed, our deaths to be mourned, and for a death to have meaning. It explains why we host lavish funerals and grand memorials. We yearn to be remembered. Our lives must have had held some meaning. Attending a funeral reminds us that we will someday merit the same honor, respect, and display of affection. To not hold a funeral is not to observe this sacred pact. 

What do you hope people will remember about you after you die
Do you have special plans or hopes for your own funeral? 

¹ Roussell, J.O. (1999). Dealing with Grief: Theirs & Ours. Staten Island, NY: Alba House.