Problems with smudging

White Sage Salvia apiana Lamiaceae (Labiatae)....
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So I have been attempting to smudge my house after the passing of one of our cats. During her passing I was extremely uneasy, I couldn’t sleep in my room and I constantly felt ill. Now after she has passed there is a lingering uneasy feeling through out the basement (Our other boy ginger cat [ the one in my avatar, isn’t he cute!] won’t even come down stairs now, which on the stairs and in my room are his favorite places to be). I have tried smudging and here is where my problem lies.
I can’t keep either of my sticks to stay burning. I have both a white sage and a cedar stick that will catch a flame and start to smoke but they won’t stay smoking, within a few minutes they burn themselves out and I have to try and re light them again and again. I have never had this problem before, any ideas/ suggestions?

Eta: I am not trying to use both sticks at once, I have just noticed that they are both not wanting to stay lit, the cedar one more so than the sage.