The death of a loved one is the single most difficult experience everyone goes through. Whether it has been anticipated or came as a shocking surprise, it is truly unlike any other ordeal.
Despite the pain, anger, guilt or depression we are overwhelmed with, funerals are aimed not at the loss but the celebration of the departed’s life. It is a time for us to relive the joyful memories we have shared with our loved one. Moreover, it is a time for us to realize that life is short; that we need to make the most of our days each waking moment.
Among other parts of a funeral service, incorporating songs have become a staple. Music has a strong influence on emotions, it comes as no surprise when certain songs are played in commemoration of our dead.
Funeral songs vary immensely. The bereaved families sometimes play songs that are personal favorites of the departed. Others play certain hymns that remind them of the one who passed away. Either way, songs have the power to evoke feelings and help us go through this journey.
Choosing a song to play during a loved one’s funeral may also pose some challenges. There are indeed, a lot to choose from. Thankfully, there are popular songs that speak to us during these testing times, one of which is “I’ll See You Again” by Frank Sinatra.
Composed and first sung by the English songwriter Sir Noël Coward, it remains his best composition to date. It’s been covered by countless singers, including Byran Ferry, Anna Moffo and Sergio Franchi. However, the most memorable rendition was that of Axel Stordahl for Frank Sinatra.
Coupled with Sinatra’s enthralling voice, this moving song has become popularly used among funeral services.
Let’s go ahead and dive deeper into each line of the song.
Though my world may go awry / In my heart ‘t will ever lie / Just the echo of a sigh
When someone near and dear to us passes away, we feel as if our world has gone topsy turvy. We can’t think straight and are rendered helpless in terms of functioning properly. We feel an overwhelming wave of emotions that make it seemingly impossible to go on. It is a lot to take in. We’ve gotten so used to seeing that person; to spending time with him/her that when it all ends, it’s as if these blanket of burden hovers above us.
However, despite of it all, we cling on to the memories of our departed. We remember them in remnants, in those little details of our everyday lives—when you smell his/her favorite food, when you see a movie s/he used to watch all the time, when you come across his/her personal belongings. We still uphold their life beyond death and that’s always a critical part of moving on.
I’ll see you again whenever spring breaks through again Time may lie heavy between but what has been is past forgetting / This sweet memory across the years will come to me
Death drives us to believe that there is something more to this world we are living in; that the person who left us in on his/her way to the next journey, somewhere where peace, joy and rest reside. The song, however sad it may sound, also touches on the hope of a future reunion, and we cling on to that.
As we go on living, there are times when we miss them too much, wishing they were still alive; that they seem so far away and all we could ever do is fill ourselves with memories.
The ‘sweet memories’ with our dearly departed may just be that, memories. However, these pieces of times we spent together is what we begin to treasure the most. We try as much as possible to remember them at each waking day, remembering them the best way we can. Hopefully, the sadness filling our hearts right now will turn into joy and peace soon knowing that the person is in a much better place.
Though my world may go awry / In my heart ‘t will ever lie / Just the echo of a sigh goodbye
The addition of the word ‘goodbye’ is a form of closure and an acceptance of the new reality we must begin to face everyday. We start accepting the facts and try to go back to our routine gradually.
We continue to mourn the dead. At the same time, we also begin to pick up the broken pieces and heal for the people around us and for ourselves. Slowly, we will begin to feel better but it doesn’t mean we forget.