Grief Support Candles Help Connect Distant Families
A lot of families, like mine, don’t live in the same region.
Sometimes they’re spread out even further, across state lines – or even countries apart. That makes it hard to do things like visit gravesites or other sites of significance.
Like many, my family doesn’t have a gravesite to visit at all. In our case, we’re left with an urn full of ashes on the mantle. Cremation has become a common option, replacing traditional body burials. This leaves families with the need to find different ways of honoring their deceased.
A simple grief support candle can help build new ways to support one another in times of grief.
Grieving is different for everyone. I see this even in a group as small as my immediate family. After all, processing grief is an incredibly personal thing. It often happens silently and behind closed doors. Rituals that everyone can participate in are important to a family after a loss. Ceremonies and traditions are a very human thing, in part because they help us connect to one another. When hit with a loss, we need that connection more than ever.
When faced with situations like these, we must adapt. It may seem difficult, considering the personal nature of grief. How can we connect when we’re dealing with something so intimate? One thing we can all agree on is that we want to keep that person’s memory alive.
Here are some ideas for ways to use an AFTER grief candle to bring your family together, no matter how far apart:
Everyone can light the candle at the same time.
Doing something at the same time is a common way that people connect. This doesn’t change when those people aren’t physically together. Lighting the candle simultaneously is a great way to feel close, especially on days of special significance.
Start a candle lighting chain.
When coordination isn’t the right option, try starting a chain reaction. One person can start the process by lighting their candle. Then, they can take a picture to send to another family member, as a prompt to light their own candle. This can pass through as many loved ones as your family needs.
If there is a gravesite, have one family member light their candle there.
Some people are much closer to the gravesite than the rest of the family. This doesn’t have to exclude them from experiencing the feelings of closeness that come along with visitation. The family member that lives the closest can visit, light the candle, and share this however they see fit.
Whenever someone is having a ‘moment,’ light the candle to acknowledge the pain.
In our family, we call it “having a Daniel moment.” These moments can be the ones we need each other the most, so they are the perfect time to comfort each other. It doesn’t matter how far you may be. To show your support and to acknowledge the pain, you can still light your candle – either with them or for them.
If you’re lucky enough to be part of a family that participates in supportive actions like these, you’ve already got a strong foundation to work from. Many people aren’t as fortunate, but that doesn’t mean they’re excluded from rituals to honor lost loved ones.
Creating your own personal practices can be a huge aid to your journey through grief – no matter the distance. These private rituals are especially comforting when you don’t have the option to visit their gravesite.
I offer you and your family love and light.