When your husband precedes you in death, everything as you know it changes. Gone with his body and presence is your partner, support and stability. Along with grief, you may be faced with many practical tasks in order to host a funeral or memorial that pays tribute to the man with whom you shared your life. Among the usual list of funeral-related tasks is selecting music for the memorial service.
Well-chosen tracks can make a funeral more memorable and meaningful to guests. Evoking nostalgia, sorrow and reminding mourners about valuing the life of the deceased person over their recent death, are all ways that a memorial playlist can change the tone of a final send-off.
If your husband has recently passed, the songs to play in his honor might be obvious. If there are religious songs or texts that were meaningful to him, they could be a wonderful way to pay tribute to his life. There also may be contemporary songs that he enjoyed, or that remind you of your relationship with him. These 'obvious' choices should definitely be incorporated into the service of a devoted husband, as long as they are appropriate to the occasion and guests who will be in attendance.
However, many people find selecting funeral music for a recently departed loved one to be a difficult choice. If there are no obvious choices for funeral music, it doesn't mean you should host a silent service.
There are endless options of songs to choose for this sad occasion. But sometimes more options means making a decision even more difficult—particularly when you're freshly grieving.
You may be worried about choosing the perfect song, but have no idea where to begin looking, or lack the time and emotional energy to find a fitting musical tribute.
We've narrowed down the list of songs so you can focus on the tasks at hand. Here are our top five songs for a husband's memorial service:
No relationship is perfect. The longer a marriage, the more issues a couple will face together and hopefully overcome. Strong marriages manage to keep the love alive, even after many years:
There were twists and turns,
And life threw curves.
Oh, but he never strayed,
After 52 years I could,
Nibble his ears and still take his breath away.
He told me I was pretty most every day.
Chaneuse's reflections on the death of a husband who was a flawed person who was deeply loved ring true for all those who've lost a beloved partner. "Far From Perfect, But He Was Mine" can be incorporated into the memorial service or reception of a fallen partner in life.
"Recovering" is a stunning ballad written by Pink and performed by Céline Dion's as a tribute and response to the death of Céline Dion's husband, René Angélil. Angélil was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1999, and Céline spent many years battling alongside him through remission and recurrence.
Even when you're prepared for a death in all the practical ways, no one can ever be fully emotionally prepared for loss. When a death follows a terminal illness, survivors can experience a grief that is even more difficult than ever imagined. On top of grief, direct caregivers must adapt to a world in which they no longer need to be constantly fighting, supporting and worrying:
I am recovering,
A broken perfectionist,
I am recovering,
A constant regretter,
Hold it against her,
At least till forever.
Céline Dion's "Recovering" explores the aftermath of loss in a way that can resonate strongly with anyone who has recently lost a companion.
For those who have lost someone in recent days or weeks, the thought of never seeing a loved one again is incomprehensible. Many people take comfort in the belief that they will one day be greeted in the afterlife by loved ones who've predeceased them. Even those who don't believe in an afterlife must continue their relationship with a deceased loved one as they navigate grief, and find a way to forge on in a world that no longer includes the person who has died.
Sometimes I feel my heart is breaking,
But I stay strong and I hold on 'cause I know,
I will see you again, oh.
This is not where it ends,
I will carry you with me, yeah yeah.
When people we love pass away, it's easy to forget that a the body of a loved individual is easier lost than the memory of them. Carrie Underwood's hit country power ballad "See You Again" is a poignant reminder that death does not have to mean the end of a relationship.
Faith Hill's "There You'll Be" is another country ballad that discusses the ongoing relationships people can have with those who have passed. She keeps a part of her loved one with her everywhere she goes, seeing her love in dreams, in her heart and everywhere she goes:
In my dreams I'll always see you soaring by the sky,
In my heart there'll always be a place for you,
For all my life,
I'll keep a part of you with me,
And everywhere I am there you'll be.
Learning to move on with the memory of a loved one who has passed, rather than trying to move on from grief with the expectation of an ongoing process. This is a wonderful sentiment to share with others at a wonderful husband's funeral service, as it can remind everyone that love lives on.
Sometimes in the throes of grief, it's impossible to understand how the world could take away a person who was so important to you. Especially when death comes earlier than expected, it can be difficult to reconcile with all of the unanswered questions, and unfinished business. As your life partner, your husband was your main source of support, love and companionship. His death means more than the loss of his presence: it means changes to your routine, and may mean a period of financial uncertainty as well. "Heaven Was Needing a Hero" explores trying to make sense of the sudden loss of your 'hero':
I guess Heaven was needing a hero
Somebody just like you
Brave enough to stand up for what you believe and follow it through
When I try to make it make sense in my mind
The only conclusion I come to
Is that Heaven was needing a hero like you
In Jo Dee Messina's song, there can only be one reason for such an amazing man to leave this earth: because he is needed more in the next. This is the perfect tribute to a husband who was your hero, and a great musical addition to the funeral service of a special man.
Music is an important and personal part of a funeral service. Think carefully about the life and character of the deceased person, as well as the grief of funeral guests, when selecting songs to play at a memorial.
These five songs can help make the funeral service of a departed husband meaningful, but there are many more to choose from. If you know of any other fitting musical tributes to the life of a beloved husband, let us know in the comments.
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