If you ask someone what was the most memorable part of a memorial or funeral service, they will often say it is the music they remember. Whether it is a beloved hymn sung by all in attendance, a performance by a solo artist or a contemporary song attached to an audio visual presentation, music plays to our souls. It is what resonates with each of us in our own individual way and has become a very integral part of how someone wants to be remembered. With pre-planning, there is a great advantage in being able to choose the musical message, or messages, that you want to convey to the love ones gathered together in your remembrance. The nice thing is, that it is your choice, your true personality and outlook on life can be conveyed after you are gone. According to statistics gathered, the current top pick for songs used at a funeral is "My Way," written by Paul Anka and most famously performed by Frank Sinatra. (The song was not used at his funeral however, he chose "Put Your Dreams Away.") If you review the portion of the lyric that reads, "I've lived a life that's full, I've travelled each and every highway, and more, much more than this, I did it my way", you can understand this popular choice. Prior to this last poll, the most often used song for memorial services and funerals was Monty Python's "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life." Both are fitting, but create an entirely different mood. In fact, many people choose two or three musical pieces, each for a different time in the ceremony, allowing people to run an entire range of emotions. If you move forward with pre-planning your funeral, either officially by working with a funeral home, or by telling your friends and family about your preferences, remember, it is all about you and how you want to be remembered. You are free, especially in these times, to choose what is right for you, sharing a piece of yourself with those you love.
Holidays that are strongly promoted by societal expectations, such as Valentines Day, Mother's Day and Father's Day, can often bring on a myriad of emotions, not always happy. People who have experienced loss and are doing their best to deal with their grief can be hit hard by commentaries on social media and celebrations that may no longer include them. How can you get through this day, which comes around every year? Writer Allison Micco, in her 2016 article "How to Celebrate Father's Day when You're Grieving the Loss of Your Dad" for the Huffington Post, had this to say.
"One of the most healing actions we can take as we approach this day is to be willing to release the reality in which our dominant story is one of loss. Yes, my father is no longer here in the physical form, but if I attach myself to that reality it seems almost impossible to find any sense of joy in the day." Micco decided to change how she approached Father's Day.
She offers several suggestions including seeking out other family members who can offer support throughout the day. Also, starting the day with a time of remembrance of your father will begin the holiday in the right state of mind, focusing on treasured memories rather than the pain of loss. "When we really look at it, Father's Day is an important reminder of the power and beauty of keeping the ones we love alive in our hearts forever," writes Micco.
We think that is the true spirit of Father's Day and hope you can celebrate this day whether or not your father has passed on or can share the day with you.
For Micco's complete article, click here.