Candles symbolize light in the darkness and a beacon of hope when we need it most. Candles have been used throughout history to honor the legacy of loved ones. With history dating back to the ancient Greeks, candles were meant to guide deceased souls to the afterlife.
Jump ahead to these sections:
Candles are still a common way to show remembrance in different religions and cultures. Candles are often lit at vigils, funerals, on death anniversaries, and on monumental holidays. Lighting a candle for someone who died is a meaningful tribute.
If you’re looking for sympathy gift ideas, a candle is a great option. Pairing the candle with a gift basket and message is a thoughtful gesture of support when someone needs it most.
What to Put in a Sympathy Candle Gift Basket
Putting together a sympathy gift basket doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Like with most gifts, it’s truly the thought that counts. Here’s a list of our favorite picks to include.
The simplest option is to include a beautiful candle and a sympathy card. Don’t overlook the power of authentic words. Sharing your condolences can mean more than you know. Include a high-quality candle, matches, and a heartfelt card in a gift basket.
2. Fruit and cheese
Candles pair well with fruit and cheese. It is traditional to gift food after a loss. Nourishment and comfort go hand in hand. A candle adds a thoughtful element of remembrance.
Fruit and cheese are easy to snack on during those first few painful days, and they’re also easy to serve at a memorial. Having a candle to light during a meal or in a quiet moment can bring solace.
Grief is a complicated emotion. Everyone grieves and remembers differently. So give the gift of memory and processing with a beautiful journal. Lighting a candle while journaling is a well-known writer’s tool. Eyes focused on a flickering flame and aroma enveloping senses can spark creativity, remembrance, and deep feelings.
Fill in the first few pages of their grief journal with some inspiring candle lighting poetry. Help the bereaved gather their thoughts and begin their journey to healing.
Another way to honor the deceased is to give their loved one’s a memorabilia basket. This includes things that help the bereaved honor their memories. Examples might consist of a photo album, scrapbooking supplies, and photo frames.
A candle fits well with these memorial items and is a beautiful addition to their favorite memories. Lighting a memorial candle and reflecting on favorite photos of the past can be a comforting way to heal from grief.
For something that leaves your recipient feeling warm and fuzzy inside, opt for a comfort-themed gift. Include anything that brings you comfort. Some ideas include a blanket, scarf, sweet treats, grief books, and a candle.
Tip: Find out your recipient’s favorite scent. Some people prefer warm, sweet smells like vanilla and brown sugar. Others prefer floral scents like lavender, jasmine, or rose. Then there are those who stick to earthy fragrances like sandalwood and oak. Before choosing a scent, look for clues of what they like best or ask someone who knows them well.
Wine is a common gift basket item that you can pair with a candle for an upscale, elegant gift.
Choose a bottle of wine you know they’ll like. If you’re unsure, Pinot Grigio is a relatively safe white, and Merlot a safe choice for red. From there, pair a gorgeous candle and some fancy matches for a relaxing evening of reflection.
7. Spa goodies
Another way to offer comfort is to give the gift of self-care. After a loss, it’s easy to get so overwhelmed by logistics that you forget to take a few minutes for yourself.
A spa gift basket puts the focus on your recipient. With gift items such as healthy snacks, body lotion, oils, and bath products, you remind them to take some me-time. An aromatherapy candle is a perfect accompaniment to a spa-themed gift basket.
Get weekly reminders to live life fully.
We'll send inspirational quotes directly to your inbox.
For a classic option, send flowers paired with a candle. Any florist can recommend a sympathy bouquet that will let someone know you’re thinking of them. Opt for a floral-scented candle that compliments your bouquet.
9. Multiple candles
If you’re looking for a simple gift, consider sending more than one candle. You can label each with a particular date that was meaningful to them or the deceased.
For instance, ask them to light one on the night of the funeral, one on the deceased’s birthday, and one on an upcoming holiday. Having something to focus on in the challenging days ahead can offer peace when it’s needed the most.
10. Succulents or plants
Like candles, succulents or other easy-care plants last a long time. They’re a reminder of a loved one’s memory and a symbol of life and warmth.
11. Coffee and tea
Another comforting gift is a basket of favorite coffee, tea, and extras. Extras could include a candle, gorgeous mug, sugar, honey, or cookies. Holding a warm cup of something tasty is a surefire way to soothe a grieving soul.
12. Memorial jewelry
A gift basket focused on memorial jewelry is a unique, sentimental choice. Memorial jewelry could include engravement or even inclusions to memorialize a loved one.
Whether you give a vial necklace to hold ashes or a charm bracelet that reminds you of the deceased, this is an extraordinary gift. Pair the jewelry with a matching candle.
What to Write on a Personalized Sympathy Candle Label
Personalizing your sympathy candle sends a warm message of support. Use this opportunity to share what the deceased or their loved ones mean to you. Here are some ideas to get you started.
13. “You continue to light the world even though you’re gone.”
Though their loved one might be gone, their light lives on in their loved one’s memories, their legacy, and through the flame of the candle.
14. “A beautiful soul will never be forgotten.”
Those who impact us are never truly gone. We carry them with us, and they are never forgotten. In those first few days and weeks, the family can remember the beautiful soul they lost every time they light the candle.
15. “Sending you love, hugs, and support.”
While your gift speaks for itself, pairing a candle with this message is a visual symbol of your kindness and support. This is great for adding to any other relaxation gifts, and it encourages your loved one to put themselves first during this difficult time.
Though you might not be there to offer comfort in person, you’re sending your love from afar. It is comforting for the bereaved to know that they’re not alone, and you are thinking of them during this dark time.
16. “Thinking of you today and always.”
This is a simple message that’s a good fit for someone you might not be that close to. A candle is a traditional, appropriate gift for all occasions. This message is straightforward and to the point, showing them that you’re keeping them in your thoughts.
17. “Think of your loved one, and see the light.”
If you can personalize the label with the name of the deceased, it becomes a powerful memento. When they look at the candle, they’ll be reminded of their loved one’s light and legacy. It’s a great reminder that memory lasts a lifetime, even when we feel far from those we love.
18. “Smells like a warm hug.”
This cute message serves as a warm hug if you can’t be there in-person. Physical connection with those we love helps reduce the burden of loss.
Though we can’t always be there in person, we can be there in spirit through the gifts we send. A warm hug might like cozy evenings, nature, or sweetness. Choose a scent that will bring your loved one comfort.
19. “Light is coming.”
This is a simple message to give the bereaved some hope. After a loss, it might feel like the world is a darker place. It’s hard to imagine surviving such intense feelings of grief, but brighter days are ahead. The candle can serve as a helpful reminder in the darkest moments.
20. “You are not alone.”
Last but not least, remind your recipient that they are never alone. Losing someone is never easy. It’s even harder if you can’t be near the ones you love. This symbol of togetherness is a source of warmth and comfort after a loss.
The Flame of Remembrance
Candles have been used to honor the dead for thousands of years. A simple flame is a symbol of remembrance, legacy, and love. It emits warmth and light in the darkest of times, and it’s the perfect gift for someone in the midst of their grief.
Gift a candle gift basket to share a bit of brightness with someone who needs it. When paired with other thoughtful items, it’s easy to see why candles are such a popular sympathy gift. From a symbol of support to honoring their beloved’s legacy, a candle truly is the flame of remembrance.