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Memorial Candle Holders

by John M. Stuart, MSW   


Image by Sam Saunders

Comfort and healing by candlelight

Something within the human psyche associates a candle’s soft glow with healing that approaches a sacred moment. Across cultures and throughout time, candlelight has been used during a time of grief and loss.

Various spiritual traditions around the world incorporate candles into mourning rituals to represent the light of the soul. In the Jewish tradition a Yahrzeit Candle is lit on the anniversary when a loved one passed. Irrespective of one's personal beliefs or faith, a softly lit candle is a healing remembrance of a life that brought so much joy and "light" into one's life.

We will forever remember the sobering images of lit candles lining the city sidewalks after the 9/11 terrorist’s attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. At one of America's darkest hours, the radiance emanating from each flame gave hope that loved ones might be found alive. Gentle illumination from the many candles provided a sense of community and comfort to those who lived and mourned.

Perhaps no one knows more about the healing effects of a lit candle than Rev. Simon Stephens at England's Warwickshire Hospital. Stephens founded The Compassionate Friends over 40 years ago. The organization brings together parents, family and friends of deceased children to remember their loss with a candle lighting memorial vigil. Amidst a sea of illuminated candles, bereaved parents and families gather and experience a sense of healing.

Illuminating memorial keepsake urns

An example of memorial keepsakes are OneWorld Memorials' distinctive Jadestone, Cloisonné and Marble collections of cremation candle holders. Each candle holder in the collection is uniquely handcrafted and is designed to hold a small portion of cremains in a compartment at its base. The keepsake can be incorporated into any home decor as an ornamental focal point in a collection of cherished photographs and mementos. The stained glass memorial candle holder collection offers illumination through Tiffany-style compositions such as the Mission Style Amber keepsake candle. The Cloisonné and Marble collection offer a polished look with an exposed candle and flame.

These memorial keepsakes can be lit on special occasions, such as an anniversary, or at a time of personal reflection and remembrance. They also make tasteful and heartfelt gifts of condolences.

Cremation keepsakes are designed to hold a small portion of ash remains, but they can also hold a lock of hair or another sentimental memento. Specially chosen memorial keepsakes will touch the heart, keeping those we love close.

John Michael Stuart, MSW has been a social worker since 1997. He has worked in nursing home, hospice and home health settings, including one of the nation's largest Social HMO demonstration projects where he coordinated care between physicians, patients and their families. John has had cerebral palsy since birth and has authored Perfect Circles, Redefining  Perfection. He is also a public speaker and currently works as a home health social worker in Las Vegas.