On Saturday, October 15, members of our community came together to support and comfort those healing from the loss of a beloved pet. The beautiful fall weather helped to lift our spirits. Roughly twenty community members assembled, bringing photos of their beloved pets. Mourners hung photos on a temporary memorial wall and added personalized stars with their loved one’s names and remembrance wishes. The collage created will be on display in the MHS Adoption & Learning Center through the end of October. If you were not able to attend the ceremony, you may still donate photos to the “We Remember” wall inside at MHS. (Photos will not be returned, so please add disposable copies.)
MHS Executive Director, Kathy Collinsworth, opened the ceremony with a reflection of how this event fits into MHS’ mission to promote a compassionate community. “I have owned pets all my life, they are my constant companions,” she said. “Grieving their loss is appropriate.”
The ceremony continued with a speech written by Reverend Lynda Tolton of Fitzwilliam Community Church. Her words were delivered by Reverend Emily Preston of Jaffrey as Reverend Tolton was unable to attend. Reverend Preston is another long-time animal lover that shared some of her own experiences honoring pets who have passed. “Do not be afraid to allow your memories to move you deeply,” she advised.
Attendees were invited to join in singing “Turn, Turn, Turn,” lead by musicians Sandy and Vinoy Laughner. After a memorial melody, the ceremony was closed with a benediction from Reverend Preston.
Participants took part in viewing the memory wall before entering Memorial Garden Place. Everyone selected from daffodil or tulip bulbs to plant in memory of their beloved pet. Also in attendance were four MHS Therapy Dog volunteers, providing furry comfort to those who needed it. Once all the bulbs were planted in their new beds, everyone gathered for fellowship and refreshments under the tent.
We couldn’t have done this event without the time and energy of many volunteers—thank you to all! There were many scenes preparations by MHS Board members. They ensured that our garden was ready to receive the spring-blooming bulbs, donated by White Rose Pet Memorial Services.
The MHS team would like to extended a special thanks to the volunteers from Clark-Mortenson Insurance Group that came out on Friday to set up our tent and prepare the site for our gathering. Country Life Restaurant donated wonderful vegan cookies that were a big hit! Board member, Jennifer Thompson, baked delicious Apple Cider cupcakes. Again, thank you to everyone who helped!
We are looking forward to next spring when our hearts will be lightened entering the driveway and seeing the beautiful Memorial blooms.