Don’t Light a Candle

My father-in-laws’ funeral was held on Christmas Eve. I asked my husband if he’d like to light a candle for him or do something on Christmas day to remember him. He answered by pointing to his head and saying that his memories were all in there. There was no need for a candle or new customs. The daily word prompt of candle got me thinking of what people leave behind when they go. I’ve written about this before in End Days and believe that we live on in the people we leave behind and the things we do to make our mark.

I do realise that many people light candles and have customs for remembrance and if that works for them then it’s wonderful – I don’t mean to belittle their choices and I also use such customs. This is a personal poem on how I’d like to be remembered.

Don’t light a candle for me when I’ve gone

Nor dwell on my death with a grief long drawn

Not Christmas or birthdays or anytime

Life is short, live it well as the years’ climb


Don’t visit my grave to remember me

In morbid cemeteries I won’t be

I’ll be hanging out in happy places

So mop up those tears from solemn faces


Don’t worry if your memories sometimes fade

My garden’s still blooming with seeds I laid

Look at what my time on earth still creates

There’s copied customs and family traits


I’m there in the way my boy’s kind and cares

and when a child I worked with can now share

or when my best girls laugh about our past

and my husband can now make friends at last


Don’t schedule in your time to think of me

No time for that, enjoy and be carefree

Was never one for a solemn meeting

Put your stamp on life – it is so fleeting


Don’t light a candle for me now I’ve gone

You’re wasting precious time – so move right on



27 thoughts on “Don’t Light a Candle

  1. That made me tear up, behave yourself woman 😉it’s strange but my sister was telling me yesterday that our mum had said when she passes over she wants all the family to have a big get together and have a laugh….. 😭 we all grieve for a reason which I think is to work through our loss. Great words, loved your poem 🌹

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This poem really resonates with me, and I especially like your use of candle to turn the idea of remembering upside down (or at the least on its side). It seems that lighting a candle is so very traditional and practically instinctual for us. Telling us (the readers) to not light that candle and do something completely opposite to remember the loved one really makes the mental wheels turn (at least in my head). I enjoyed reading this!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. […] a chance I’ll need to get in finished in the next few months.  A previous poem I wrote ‘don’t light a candle’ gives you an idea of the sentiment behind the book.  There’s a kind, irritating angel who only […]


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