An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.

— Martin Buber

Pet Loss Library


Memorializing Your Companion at Home

by Rev. LoraKim Joyner, D.V.M

There are many ways to honor your companion that has died. Basically, you can almost do anything for your bird that you would do for a human companion:


  • Hold a private memorial service or engage a representative from a religious tradition
  • Write a poem or story (share it with others if you like).
  • Journal about your bird’s life and what he or she meant to you.
  • Run an obituary in your local paper (not every paper will let you do this)
  • Create your own rituals that fit your needs

Elements of a Memorial Service

  • Opening Words – why we have gathered
  • Readings – that reflect your understanding of loss and the beauty of life (including sacred texts)
  • Music – recorded, live, or sung by participants
  • Reflections – stories or writings of your companion that you or others bring to share
  • Prayers, meditations, silence
  • Lighting of candles or ringing of bells
  • Closing Words – a wish for peace and healing

Possible Rituals

  • Light a candle at home to burn – on the day of death and on anniversaries
  • Ring bells as you say the name of your companion and special events in your lives
  • Place wind chimes to remind you of your lost companion
  • Decorate the burial site or area of cremated remains with objects special to you and the bird (rocks, pictures, colored glass, sacred objects)
  • Get a tattoo
  • Make a beaded chain or jewelry representing your bird’s life