Closure After the Death of a Pet


I am in need of some guidance. My family friends mini horse died of old age last night, in our care. Is there a ritual I can perform for her? I feel responsible for her, even after her passing, and I would like to give everyone including her, some closure. I just have a feeling that it’s something that I have to do, but I would like to do it properly.

Sorry to hear about your friend’s mini horse.

Are your friends Pagan as well? If not, you should probably ask them first if they are ok with you performing a Pagan ritual for their horse. Actually, even if they are Pagan, it’s still better to ask first. Other than that, there are plenty of funeral/passing rituals that can be found online that you can adapt to use for your friend’s mini horse, but there really isn’t any sort of “proper” way, as everyone tends to grieve differently. Individual groups may have their own ways of honoring such passages, but without knowing which groups might be of interest, it’s hard to point you in any particular direction.

In looking online, if you can’t find any that suit you, consider creating something on your own, that comes from your heart. It doesn’t have to be overly complicated or have lots of bells and whistles. Even just a simple – “we are gathered here today to honor…” is absolutely fine. Especially when someone is grieving, simple is better. Anything else (especially full-on rituals) can easily become too overwhelming for the very people you are trying to comfort.

Personally, sitting around sharing food and drink, and telling stories about our favorite memories of the one who has passed (human or pet) has always been one of my favorite ways of honoring the dead. It’s also something that anyone can do, regardless of their religion. You could also have everyone bring pictures and/or other small objects that remind them of their pet, and create a collage/piece of art as a keepsake. This can be magical as well (if you want it to be) as you can charge the picture/art with energy, with the intention that it keep their pet’s memories alive. Example: hold the picture/object and visualize a particular moment that you always want to remember and allow the energy of how you are feeling to flow into the picture/object. As you add other pieces to the collage, you are storing that energy to help cheer you up for whenever you feel sad because you miss them.

Losing a pet, especially one that you’ve helped care for his always hard. Just being there for those who are grieving, is sometimes one of the best things we can do, even if it doesn’t seem like enough. But if you feel called to do more, and the family is open to it, then you do what feels right.

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