This past week I posted a blog on whether Jews should say the Mourner’s Kaddish for a beloved pet. I have received many responses to that blog both in agreement with me that distinctions must be made between human beings and pets and that the Mourner’s Kaddish is meant for mourners to say for parents, spouses, siblings, and children only, and in disagreement that since the Mourner’s Kaddish affirms God in life that it is appropriate to say the Kaddish for a pet. Though I do not agree with this position, I am sympathetic, which leads me to post now these two blessings.
The first is my blessing when a beloved pet dies. The second was written by the famed scientist and humanitarian Albert Schweitzer.
A Blessing on the Death of a Beloved Pet
Eternal God of Creation:
I am grateful to have enjoyed the gift of _______ (pet name)
Now that he/she has passed from this life.
Give me the strength and courage to cope with my heart-ache and loss.
Despite my grief, I am thankful that my beloved companion no longer suffers.
________ will live in my heart and memory as a dear companion of my soul.
As he/she enriched my life with love and devotion,
May I show similar care for the lives of all your creatures.
May he/she be at peace. Amen.
A Blessing to End the Suffering of Animals – by Albert Schweitzer
Hear our humble prayer, O God,
for our friends, the animals,
especially for those who are suffering;
for animals that are overworked,
underfed, and cruelly treated;
for all the wistful creatures in captivity,
that beat their wings against bars;
for any that are hunted or lost or deserted,
or frightened or hungry.
We entreat for them all
Yours and our compassion,
and for those who deal with them,
we ask a heart of mercy
and gentle hands and kindly words.
Make us, ourselves,
to be true friends to animals
and so to share
the blessings of the Merciful.