Pet funerals and memorials are pretty common these days, as many people treat their pets as family members, and even as surrogate children. Pet Funerals can be held in the same fashion as human Funerals, including the owner's memories of the pet, photographic displays, pet poems and pet prayers.
Although it may seem like a morbid career path, people who are in this industry often have fulfilling and satisfying jobs. Pet funerals are generally small affairs, with the pet's owner and family members and maybe a couple of close friends present.
What Does a Pet Funeral Celebrant Actually Do?
A celebrant will usually travel to the clients home for an introduction. They will usually take a furnished body bag and placed the remains in there, and place it on a mortuary cot. The client is then allowed to spend time with their pet before it is taken to their place of business or crematorium.
The celebrant will communicate with the client about ceremonial wishes. They will offer pet caskets, cremation, and urns.
If the pet is cremated, the celebrant will return the remains to the client to keep. Otherwise a regular funeral will be arranged. Depending where you live, and your local authority's rules, a burial can take place on private property, or in some cases, council land.
What Training Do I need to Become A Pet Funeral Celebrant?
Although it isn't mandatory to undergo professional training to be a Pet Funeral celebrant, it is usually seen as proof that you have the skill, guidance and know-how to gain employment in all types of professional celebrant work. Many Pet Funeral Celebrants also facilitate other types of ceremonies, which adds flexibility and the chance to grow a larger business.
What Type of Person Becomes a Pet Funeral Celebrant?
There are certain characteristics required to be successful at officiating at such an important event as a Pet Funeral. It would be wise to seek other's opinions to gauge whether you possess the traits that will define if this is the career for you or not.
It is critical for a Pet Funeral celebrant to get to know some history of the deceased pet and about the type of pet they were, and how they made an impact on their owner's life. The pet's owner and family should be able to provide this information. Being able to structure the flow of the ceremony is also an important skill.
But most importantly the funeral celebrant must conduct the funeral service in a way which not only befits the deceased but also gives some comfort to the immediate family and those who have been affected by the death the most.
Empathy is a very important quality for a funeral celebrant, you need to be able to understand that the pet owner is devastated, and although you might react differently yourself in such a situation, we are all different and you must always remain professional and calm and caring towards your clients. You may see some people who might behave irrationally in your eyes, but people cope with grief in different ways, and you need to be able to accept and sometimes even encourage this unfamiliar behaviour. If you can show genuine empathy for your clients, word will quickly spread about your professionalism and most of your business will likely be from word of mouth.
Your job as a Pet Funeral Celebrant is to deliver the words and sentiments about the beloved pet, which in many cases, the pet owner may not be in the emotional state to do so themselves.