One Year Sleeps, Another Awakes

Gerrit Dou (1613–1675), Sleeping Dog (detail), 1650. Oil on panel, 6 ½ x 8 ½ inches. The Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Collection. Image courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Gerrit Dou (1613–1675), Sleeping Dog (detail), 1650. Oil on panel, 6 ½ x 8 ½ inches. The Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Collection. Image courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The end of a year can be challenging, especially when we consider those who have recently passed, or those who passed years ago. Bereavement sneaks in, but only if we shut it out. As we close 2013 and look ahead to 2014, we’d like to share this poem by Denise Levertov.

Talking to Grief by Denise Levertov

Ah, Grief, I should not treat you
like a homeless dog
who comes to the back door
for a crust, for a meatless bone.
I should trust you. Continue reading

A new kind of pet cemetery – Pet Memorial Acres

A beautiful new pet memorial park, Pet Memorial Acres, recently opened in central New York State. With its commitment to green burials within its borders – and in general – it represents a future direction for pet cemeteries in the U.S. and abroad. Since there are few options for green pet-burials in dedicated cemeteries, we wanted to recognize Pet Memorial Acres by inviting its founder, Darryl Simcoe, to write of his inspiration and aspirations for this new venture.

by Darryl Simcoe, Founder, Pet Memorial Acres

Pet Memorial Acres

Summer at Pet Memorial Acres

My interest in pet cemeteries evolved from my research into green burials. I came across the website for Greensprings Natural Cemetery Preserve located in Newfield, New York. A human cemetery, it is one of a very few cemeteries in New York State that provide the option of a green burial for all people. [Note: New York State cemetery law prohibits animals from being buried in human cemeteries.] Continue reading

2012 Year in Review

Reed and Red by Per Ola Wiberg ~ powi on flickr.com2012 has been an eventful year for our Green Pet-Burial Society. This work is continually buoyed by the simple question:

Why is this important?

It’s not only about burials – it’s so much more than that! It’s about our worldviews of Nature, animals and our own humanity, and it’s about embracing all that is simple and beautiful in life. We’ve learned of four new green cemeteries that allow a pet’s remains to be buried in the family plot – two in the U.S. and two in the U.K. –  and we’ve seen established pet cemeteries plan for new green burial sections. Here are some other highlights: Continue reading

“We’ll do this – together”

Buster, Maudann and Doyle Shugart

Buster, Maudann and Doyle Shugart

A dear friend of our Green Pet-Burial Society, Doyle L. Shugart, passed on July 8, 2012. He is widely known and respected for establishing Deceased Pet Care, Georgia’s first and only full service pet funeral home and the largest pet funeral home in the nation.

Doyle founded Deceased Pet Care in 1972 at a time when (many if not most) regarded pet cemeteries as curiosities. Along with his wife, Maudann, and their three children, Keith, Kyle, and Donna, the Shugarts grew Deceased Pet Care to three locations, which include two pet cemeteries. Under his compassionate guidance, they have supported and comforted numerous bereaved families. Continue reading

One Day

Moon behind treeThere are times when one’s bereavement, believed to have healed, becomes reawakened. It could be from a familiar word or gesture, the reemergence of someone from one’s past, or some kind of exposure that feels impossible to contain. As with many journeys, grief spirals back and forth. It takes us to the precipice of life – infusing it with perspective – and then drops us into the mendacity of social convention, the desire for forgetting, and the hope for hope.

For all who struggle with grief, here is a song my friends sing. Written and sung by Matisyahu, it’s a blessing with wide meaning, an anthem for peace, and yearning for peace in our personal lives when people’s hostilities towards us may be turned into invited play. Enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sl9voSKJmEU

Continue reading

Call for Papers – Animal Death symposium

Anna MerrittAnimal Death. June 13, 2012, University of Sydney Camperdown Campus. This symposium brings together cross-disciplinary voices on the topic of Animal Death. It seeks papers that explore how animal and human death are conceptualized, diverge, differ and also connect in profound ways. Papers could explore issues of sacrifice, “necessary” expendability, utility, species extinction, human survival, climate change and conservation. They are particularly interested in human and animal relationships around the nature of death. These include (but not limited to) issues of grief (for the dead companion animal), euthanasia, rituals of slaughter, vivisection, cultures of denial, the issue of who is and isn’t attributed a soul, and post-death belief systems. Please send 200 word abstracts to Dr Jay Johnston by January 16, 2012. Panels of up to three speakers are welcome. Continue reading

New Pamphlet: The Greening of Pet Cemeteries

The Green Pet-Burial Society has recently been contacted by several people seeking to create new pet cemeteries, and several more wanting to create either a green burial section in an existing cemetery, or implement eco-friendly practices throughout their cemetery.

In response, we prepared a new document for pet cemetery professionals which covers the basic conceptual, cultural, aesthetic and economic aspects that are significant to cemeterians and eco-conscious consumers. Additionally, it reimagines pet cemeteries as local centers for environmental sustainability. Continue reading

2010-11 Year in Review

"Yellow Flowers" © Flickr.com Zest_pk

Thank You for your interest in, and support of, the Green Pet-Burial Society. What an extraordinary year! When I founded the Society in early 2010, it was important to launch our website first in order to provide grieving individuals and families with information they needed to make practical and green burial arrangements upon the passing of a beloved animal. No other service provides the type of information we do. It’s heartening to know that many found help either directly from us or from the information posted. Continue reading

LA Pet Memorial Park will consider Natural Burials

I proposed to the LA Pet Memorial Park that they designate a portion of their park exclusively for natural burials. The President of the Board, David Stiller, brought this issue up at their recent board meeting where it was enthusiastically received. Continue reading