our everyday life

What to Say on a Memorial Candle

by Wanda Thibodeaux

The loss of a loved one can be very painful, especially if the loved one is an immediate family member. Although this pain will ease over time, it is important to remember those who are lost and to deal with their absence. One method of coping with such loss and pain is to create a memorial candle. Figuring out what to say is the most difficult part of making the candle, but it is the first step in this simple, loving tribute.

Poetry

Choose a verse. Often when people grieve, it is especially hard to verbalize emotions. This is perfectly normal. If you are having trouble coming up with something to put on the candle yourself, look for poems that relate the sentiment you are trying to get across. Poems that talk about how much you love the person or talk about how they never are truly lost are especially appropriate. As an example, Goody Candles has a memorial candle that begins with the following line: "Those we love don't go away." Verses also may incorporate your religious beliefs about what has happened to your loved one.

Descriptors

If verses don't appeal to you, consider filling the candle with descriptions of your loved one. For example, you could fill your candle with words like "loyal," "hilarious," "loving mother," or "my rock." You can get ideas for this at the memorial or funeral service by asking everyone to write down one word they think describes your loved one. This is a nice way to approach the candle because it reminds you of how your loved one was perceived by everyone, not just you.

General Information

Be sure to include general information about your loved one on the candle. This can include their name, and birth and death years. Providing only this information may be appropriate for you if you feel like there really are no words, yours or otherwise, that can express the loss you feel.

Quotes

Often people are known for particular mannerisms or catch phrases. If your loved one had something they always said that will always make you think of them, you may wish to use a quote from them as the basis for the candle. You can place the person's name, birth and death years underneath the quote to show that they came up with it. The quote does not need to be serious, it only needs to have meaning for you in relationship to your loved one.

About the Author

Wanda Thibodeaux is a freelance writer and editor based in Eagan, Minn. She has been published in both print and Web publications and has written on everything from fly fishing to parenting. She currently works through her business website, Takingdictation.com, which functions globally and welcomes new clients.