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Pet Memorial Sunday Celebrated Safely, With Chartiers Custom Pet Cremation

Pet Memorial Sunday 2021

I am a speaker at this annual event, and Chartiers Custom Pet Cremation is one of my customers. This is the official press release for this event.


Pet Memorial Sunday is a day to gather with others who’ve lost beloved animal companions, to share the space and grieve together for a while. Even during Covid, Deb Chebatoris, owner of Chartiers Custom Pet Cremation, has a plan for bringing people together, safely, no matter how things look in September, to help ease the aching emptiness of a significant part of their life.

“For 16 years I have hosted a Pet Memorial event,” she said. “Last year we managed an event where we were still together with a healthy social distance, and a portion of the usual program offered as online presentations, and this year we are planning a hybrid ceremony.” The annual event includes information on end-of-life issues from a veterinarian, on grief from a therapist, and a presentation of tributes for departed pets.

As always, anyone who is grieving the loss of an animal companion is invited to RSVP for this annual ceremony held on Sunday, September 19, 2021 as it’s celebrated partly virtually, partly live with social distancing. “We will be together, somewhat distanced, but visibly present as a community united in our grief,” Deb said.

The most uplifting part of the event is the dove release. Deb explained, “They embody the spirit of our beloved, and as we watch them fly away, we begin to understand how to let go of our grief.”

“The attachment we form with our pets is remarkably strong, making their loss a uniquely hurtful experience,” Deb said. Chartiers Custom Pet Cremation has been providing comfort and compassionate care to families in the tri-state area for over 16 years. Deb knows the importance of a remembrance ceremony to assist human family members to deal with this huge loss. That’s one of the reasons she hosts the Pet Memorial Sunday ceremony each September.

If you would like to participate, go to to RSVP for this free event. A pop-up will provide you a link to an event page. Your RSVP will register you and provide you with information about euthanasia, grief and renewal, and how to submit your 50-word tribute and picture.

Pet Memorial Sunday will be held September 19, 2021 at 2:30 p.m., Melrose Cemetery, 3064 Washington Pike, Bridgeville, PA 15017. RSVP with photo and tribute by September 10, 2021. If you have questions, please call Deb at 412-220-7800.



pet memorial sunday
Me during my presentation.

Loving Again After Loss

I’m always happy to speak on this topic. It’s focused on why we choose to live with animals, especially after a loss. Deb watched me over a period of years lose a number of cats, then gain a number of cats, then lose again, and decided I would probably have something valuable to say about loving and losing and loving again, and I always draw from my own experiences:

In 2011 I spoke about losing all my senior cats in one year, and then losing Lucy, but that she brought me Mimi and her children.

In 2012 I spoke about losing my two oldest kitties, Cookie and Kelly, in one year and though I’d just lost Kelly a month before I knew it had changed my relationship with cats forever.

In 2013 I spoke about taking in Lakota and Emeraude knowing my relationship with them would be brief, and losing Lakota after six weeks but loving him nonetheless ( I didn’t realize I hadn’t shared this here, but had had it published in Pittsburgh PetConnections in September 2013. I will probably share this article again this coming Sunday as its own feature).

In 2014 I mentioned that our relationship with pets is not all about us, but about both of us, we and our pet and what each of us feels and gives and takes to and from each other, and pointing out that fosters, Emeraude, Kennedy and Basil, then named Smokie, had each been abandoned and even grievously injured by humans, and yet let go of that pain and turned around to love and trust another human who was a complete stranger.

In 2015 I spoke about animals being healers, and how they can soothe our grief without us even knowing it.

In 2016 I related the stories of people I’ve known and the decisions they made. That presentation seemed to fit the best and it’s the presentation I’ve given each year after that.

A particular anniversary of loss for me

I lost Kublai 25 years ago on the exact date we are celebrating Pet Memorial Sunday, on September 19, 1996. I’m once again remembering him in the changing light and cooler nights of early September.

Kublai and me
Kublai and me

Why do we take animals into our lives? 

Because we need them, and also because they need us, and we can’t fear to love for fear of loss.

Perhaps I’ll see you there. If not, my thoughts will be with my own losses, and all those I’ve read about in the past year.

And the photo we used for this year’s invitation is one of mine, from the amazing autumn photos I captured in October 2020. I always look at photographic subjects with an eye toward a future use for them, and I knew this bend in the road, which was so popular with my followers, had a future with Pet Memorial Sunday for Chartiers Custom Pet Cremation. Because it falls in September we decorate with an autumn theme.


Also read my essays and articles on Pet Loss and other articles on Pet Memorial Sunday.

Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals




Custom Pet Memorial Votives

Custom memorial pet votive.
Custom memorial pet votive.

I took this photo one June morning in 2009, less than two weeks before I lost Namir, who along with Cookie spent time out in the yard with me every morning in those years. I remember turning around and seeing these prints on that flagstone as the three of us walked along the path, and hurrying to get the photo before the prints began to dry in the sun. The memory was so strong and I immediately began to form the final title of the image even before I knew what I’d do with it. I remembered it daily, knowing that Namir’s heart couldn’t hold out much longer. It was one of the first designs I visualized when I decided I really would go ahead and design the Animal Sympathy Cards.

 Click here to read more and purchase.


All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission, although links to your site are more than welcome and are shared. Please ask if you are interested in using and image or story in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of an image or a product including it, check my animal and nature website Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.

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© 2022 | | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Weekly schedule of features:

Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life

Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters

Tuesday: Rescue Stories

Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork

Thursday: New Merchandise

Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy

Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats

And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!




From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

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