A Playlist for the Bereaved Parent

Music for Mourning

The other night I was in a down mood.  My sadness had found me as I was cooking dinner before Nick got home.  I usually cook with music on so I decided to turn the song up.  It was a song I listened to when Nora was alive and it was called, “The Big White Gate,” by Grace Potter and The Nocturnals.  It’s a song about being on your death bed and contemplating life here and after.  I love it.  It resonates with me.  So in that moment I turned it up and started belting out the words at the top of my lungs.

Now, if you know me, you would know I can’t carry a tune to save my life.  I’m such a bad singer my mother even told me never to sing.  My singing is that awful.  But with no one around and for the sake of my soul, I sang anyway.  I think no matter what our ability is to hit the right pitch or not, there is something releasing about singing.  Something, harmonious (and not just the notes) about music.  It’s connection to the soul opens a special passage way to healing.

Music Therapy is a a clinical and evidenced-based practice of using musical intervention to attend to one’s mental health.  The idea of using music to help the bereaved heal from grief is to help the bereaved person, “Tell and retell their story both as orators and listeners” Dr. Joy S. Berger states in her article Playing with Playlists in Techniques of Grief Therapy. She also talks about how using musical playlists helps the bereaved continue to create bonds through music they associate with the deceased.  Ultimately, Berger states, this is, “Orientating (the bereaved) to both loss and restoration.” 

Inspired by Carly Marie’s #CaptureYourGrief October photo a day challenge, Day 9 – Music, I created a play list of 35 songs bereaved mothers identified that reminds them of their children back in November of 2013, when I was approaching the one year anniversary of Nora being born without breath.  

Fast forward to today, March 31st and this playlist remains a huge hit on my personal blog Still Breathing. The list has grown oh so much with people adding their own songs in the original post

The first seven on this list are from my personal playlist.  The rest I gathered from other bereaved moms on Instagram and then updated last night to include recommendations that have come in over the last year and half from other bereaved parents.  I hope you enjoy it.  If you have a song to add, just leave it in a comment at the bottom of the post.  I would love to know about it. 

50 Songs for Mourning Your Child

  1. Stars by Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
  2. Halleluiah by Leonard Cohen
  3. Ave Maria by Beyonce
  4. A Mother’s Prayer by Celine Dion
  5. Just Give Me A Reason by Pink
  6. Lullaby by The Dixie Chicks
  7. I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserables
  8. See You Again By Carrie Underwood
  9. Beautiful Boy by John Lennon
  10. Baby of Mine by Alison Krauss
  11. Angel by Beverly Mitchell
  12. Truly, Madly, Deeply, by Savage Garden
  13. Fly by Celine Dion
  14. Small Bump by Ed Sheeran
  15. Holes by Passanger
  16. In the Arms of an Angel by Sarah Mclachlan
  17. Slipped Away by Avril Lavigne
  18. Baby Blue by Dave Matthews Band
  19. Sweet Baby James by James Taylor
  20. I Will Cary You by Selah
  21. Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel (IZ)
  22. Home by Philip Phillips
  23. Who You’d Be Today by Kenny Chesney
  24. Here Comes Goodbye by Rascal Flatts
  25. I’ll Be Missing You by Faith Evans & Puff Daddy
  26. Far Away by Nickel Back
  27. Let It Be by The Beattles
  28. Real Love by Regina Spektor
  29. I Will Follow You Into The Dark by Death Cab for Cutie
  30. Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton
  31. Lullaby by Billy Joel
  32. Gone Too Soon by Daughtry
  33. Hey Ho by the Luminers
  34. Elizabeth, You Were Born to Play That Part by Ryan Adams
  35. The Sun Goes Down, The Stars Come Out by The Wanted
  36. Carry by Tori Amos
  37. Your Hands by JJ Heller
  38. I Will Wait by Mumford and Sons
  39. If I Die Young by The Band Perry
  40. You Are Goodbye by Holly Conlon
  41. With Hope by Steven Curtis Chapman
  42. Still by Gerrit Hofsink
  43. Beam Me Up by Pink
  44. I’ll See You Again by WestLife
  45. Smallest Wingless by Craig Cardiff
  46. Borrowed Angels by Kristin Chenoweth
  47. Hug Him Once for Me by Erica McClure
  48. The One Who Knows by Dar Williams with Alison Krauss
  49. A Visitor From Heaven by Twila Paris
  50. My Name by George Canyon

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    Lindsey Henke

    Lindsey Henke

    Lindsey is a baby loss mom, writer, and clinical social worker. She writes about her journey through grief after child loss using her professional knowledge to heal her personal pain on her blog Stillborn and Still Breathing.

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    2 Comments

    1. Reply

      Charlotte Ross

      May 31, 2017

      Brand New Day (the dragonfly song)
      You Raise Me Up – Josh brogan
      Close To You – The Carpenters
      One More Day

    2. Reply

      Janice Pett McDowell

      June 22, 2017

      Jeremy camp there will be a day “no more tears”

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