Ground burial has long been the traditional choice for interment in America. In recent years however, cremation has become a viable choice, among the adventurous baby boomers. As they prepare for their final expenses, many questions arise. One question, in particular, is asked more often than any other, “Can my pet be cremated with me?”
It is illegal to co-mingle human cremains. In other words, two humans, may not be cremated in the same chamber, at the same time. Likewise, it is illegal, to cremate an animal, where human beings are cremated. Plainly speaking, your pet may not be cremated, at the same crematorium, where you may be cremated.
As a licensed funeral director, I often witness family members slipping mementos into a loved one’s casket, immediately before it is closed. In fact, I recently observed a very young nephew, slip a little wooden box, into his Uncle’s casket. The box had a doggy paw engraved upon it, next to the name, “Love.” It was a very touching moment, and caused me to think seriously about my own pet’s living situation, when my time comes to meet my maker.
As with interment, inurnment (the process of placing cremains in an urn), offers unique choices, to achieve your final wishes. One might choose an appropriate location where their cremains, and the cremains of their pet, might be sprinkled together. An appropriate choice might be the old oak tree, at his or her family home place. If one has chosen to have their cremains buried, a double cremation vault might be an appropriate selection. A double cremation vault encases two urns of cremains. One urn might encase the master’s cremains, the other urn might encase the pet’s cremains.
If you find yourself in this unique situation, you will need to have the assistance of a very special someone to accomplish your final wishes. It may just turn out, that your very young nephew, surprisingly steps forward to accomplish this final act of “Love” for you and your pet.
My best advice: “Be kind to animals, and to your very young nephews. Sometimes even the tiniest humans turn out to be our biggest champions.”
My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a funeral director, author and freelance writer. I write books, weekly bereavement articles, and mid-week grief briefs related to understanding and coping with grief. It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.