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Pet obits honor companions who crossed ‘the rainbow bridge’

Here’s how one Tampa Bay funeral home helps families remember special loved ones.
Mimi’s obit read, “Mimi had a long happy life and these last couple of months were very hard on her, we’re just glad she’s now in peace. Mimi will be missed but never forgotten.”
Mimi’s obit read, “Mimi had a long happy life and these last couple of months were very hard on her, we’re just glad she’s now in peace. Mimi will be missed but never forgotten.” [ [Courtesy Kenia Alvarez] ]
Published Sep. 6

Cool Whip passed away on January 23, 2021. He will be missed....

Lil’Bit George, 4/9/2004 - 4/12/2021, Beloved best friend, crossed the rainbow bridge to heaven. She loved to chase balls, to go camping, the beach and traveling. She leaves behind two fur siblings, Peppercorn & Chancey, her mom, Connie and dad, Ian.

July 21, 2021: Peppercorn was a spunky adventurous dog that loved to play with her fur sisters. She was a-well-traveled dog having been to many places across the country. She was a special companion that loved to cuddle. She brought smiles to all that met her. She was loved by her family and will be missed. She is now with her fur sister Lil Bit Wilson.

On the website of a Tampa Bay funeral home, you can also read about Hazelnut, Woobie, Romeo, Foo Foo, Jack and other pets who’ve died. The obits are the work of Kenia Alvarez, who is mom to Nugget the Shih Tzu. She’s the office manager at Brewer & Sons, a funeral home with several locations, including in Brooksville, Spring Hill, Dunedin and Tampa.

”Just like people, pets have stories,” Alvarez said. “They become family.”

The funeral home offers pet services, including burials, cremations and funerals. Alvarez took on writing the obits for clients after Brewer & Sons redesigned its website and made space for them.

She tries to get any details she can, but it’s often hard for families to talk about pets that have passed, she said. She understands.

”I at least want this pet to be honored. So we put them on our website just so that they can be remembered.”

She wrote the obituary for her mom’s Maltese, Mimi, pictured above. Mimi had been part of Alvarez’s life since she was a kid. Alvarez knows it’s hard to let go.

”When Nugget passes, it will be the same for me,” she said. “He’s family.”

Nugget is alive and well, but his mom plans to honor him with an obituary when he's gone.
Nugget is alive and well, but his mom plans to honor him with an obituary when he's gone. [ [Courtesy Kenia Alvarez] ]

A version of this story originally ran in How They Lived, our free obituaries newsletter. Know of someone we should feature? Please email Kristen Hare at khare@poynter.org.

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