We’ve been thinking about dying quite a bit this week in the office.
Don’t worry, though, work isn’t really that bad.
It’s been prompted by the fact that we’ve all been asked to consider which song we might like played at our funeral. Perhaps that needs a little explanation…
Some of the team recently visited our client St Giles Hospice in Whittington, Lichfield – and they found out that the ‘funeral song question’ was something visitors to the hospice were being asked as part of getting people talking about a whole range of issues surrounding death and bereavement.
On their return to the office, it started a conversation on the topic, which led to the idea of this post.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the round-office email asking people to choose ‘their’ song provoked a range of responses, from ‘I love stuff like this! (smiley face)’ to ‘Gosh – this is hard. I’m welling up just writing this!!!’
Looking through people’s choices – and reasons for their choices – makes you realise that it’s made everyone think not so much about their death, as about how much their death will affect those they’ll leave behind. No wonder there have been tears.
There are several songs or artists which recall happy times – a song which will remind their loved ones of the first dance at their wedding, a first concert and dad’s go-to karaoke track, learning to play the ukelele, family car journeys spent singing along to favourite albums, celebrating Leicester City winning the Premier League…
Other songs are chosen for their uplifting meaning – it’s like leaving a personal message to everyone at your funeral to tell them ‘everything little thing’s gonna be alright’, even though you’re no longer there to make it so.
It’s a strange process, imagining everyone who’s special to you, all gathered together to say goodbye to you, although you’ve already gone. But the more you think about it, the more you realise that talking about it and planning for it might make it a bit easier for everyone you’ve left behind. Only a bit – but that bit’s got to count for something.
Fortunately – before there are any more tears – there’s been room for some comedy too, in keeping with the very best traditions of funerals. Big thanks for the laugh-out-loud email from one team member suggesting she’d like to be taken away to the Countdown theme tune…
So here goes, in no particular order, our Top 15 songs for saying goodbye:
- Find The River (REM)
- Somewhere Over The Rainbow (Israel Kamakawiwo’ole)
- Seize The Day (Avenged Sevenfold)
- Stop Crying Your Heart Out (Oasis)
- How Long Will I Love You (Ellie Goulding)
- Everything’ll Be Alright (Joshua Radin)
- When I Get Where I’m Going (Brad Paisley)
- My Heart Will Go On (Celine Dion)
- Moondance (Van Morrison)
- Three Little Birds (Bob Marley)
- Angels (Robbie Williams)
- Into The Mystic (Van Morrison)
- What A Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong)
- Time To Say Goodbye (Andrea Bocelli)
- Countdown theme (by Alan Hawkshaw)