Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Long Goodbye

The music today is brought to you by an infinite amount of sadness. Five years ago, this week, my stepfather passed away suddenly at the relatively young age of 47. He left behind his only son, my half-brother, who was but 13 years at the time. Given the undue amount of stress involved with funeral prep and handling my Down Syndromed brother completely alone, my mom turned to me play the role of Funeral Home D.J. I picked the prelude music and chose the service hymns straight from the LDS Hymn Book. My stepfather was a cowboy so I stuck to that by selecting a few country tunes. 'The Long Goodbye' had only been released a few months earlier and since my step dad harbored a fanatical love of all things Brooks And Dunn, I knew it would fit the mood perfectly. I also chose Al Jarreau's hauntingly beautiful 'Heaven And Earth,' but Best Audio Codes doesn't offer that track to put on my blog. Both songs make me want to sob big buckets of tears. And yet they're not your traditional melancholic death dirges. There's a bittersweet loveliness behind the flowing melody. I'm feeling especially weepy as our heart aches for a family at church with 3 very young children that lost their beloved father and husband this week. Sometimes bad things happen to very, very good people. :(

16 comments:

carronin said...

I've just recently become a Brook and Dunn fan after seeing them in concert last year when we took a trip Nashville.I've haven't heard this song before it's beautiful you made a good choice.My prayers go out to your family and the family in your ward. I don't know what I would do if I ever lost my husband.

Suzanne said...

Yes, you're right, bad things can happen to good people. :( Hopefully we will get some answers to life's questions on the other side someday!

Melody said...

Tender story, painful thinking of a 13-year-old caring for her brother. And the new losses in your neighbors' lives.

Here's a hug for your 13-year-old self and an invitation to visit my blog...life is too hard sometimes.

On the lighter side, if there can be one, I think your daughter and I like one particular phrase above all in this post: "There's a bittersweet loveliness behind the flowing melody"

Melody said...

BTW: Thank you for the song. You're right, it's beautifully sad. I'm tired of crying.

Kimberly said...

There really is a bittersweet quality to grief itself. Even in the midst of the anguish, we are so full of love for the person we're missing. The simple beauty of that can't take away the hurt though. I think it's wonderful to find a piece of music that symbolizes that experience for you. It gives you access to what you felt then, and sometimes we need to relive the sadness of a moment like that. I don't know why, we just do.

No Cool Story said...

:(
I have never heard this song before, it's pretty good, I actually like it, like a lot.

I'm sending hugs to you and each of your village peeps. No one should die that young or with very young children.

PS. Wow, this song rocks, and I don't even like country.

Jennifer B. said...

Tears for you and your friends. Beautiful song. Thank you for sharing it.

Elizabeth-W said...

I'm sorry for yout losses, old and new. Kimberly is spot-on. "Bittersweet" is a great word to describe those feelings, especially for your step-dad.

jams o donnell said...

Sadly that is the way the world turns.. some of the good die young and some of the bad live to ripe old ages. It isn't fair and it sucks.

Nice choices for your stepdad. Both the not wife and I want Airscape at ours

Burg said...

Those poor kids..

I love that song. I'm a bit of a Brooks & Dunn fan myself. Ronnie Dunn is from Tulsa though, so that's my excuse.

Mimo said...

I've never heard this, maily because I'm not a country fan, but this is a really pretty song. Sorry for your losses :( Life is so not fair, and sometimes that unfairness really hoovers.

Thoroughly Mormon Millie said...

(((EWL)))

Amber said...

There is nothing more tragic for me than to see a young family lose one of their parents. What a beautiful song that captures the moment.

Carrotjello said...

For some reason, I cannot hear anything on best audio codes. :(
I'm sorry for the losses.

Lianne said...

I do have a profound knowledge that none of us ever leaves the planet before we are "supposed" to... for what ever reason we come with things to do, and then when we have completed them, we can go home.

It is hard to have our mortal perspective on death and loss. We who are left behind feel the loss, whereas those who "Graduate" are encompassed about by light and love.

elasticwaistbandlady said...

I didn't mean to whore for sympathy here. I just felt compelled to mention the passing of a righteous father doing his very best to nurture his family and raise his children into decent adults. The unfair part for me stems from the fact that I work with a lot of deadbeat dads that possess a sickening laissez fare attitude towards fatherhood. They shrug their loser shoulders as they smilingly tell me, "No, I haven't paid child support for my kid in two months," or "I haven't even talked to my daughter for six weeks." What the hell? Seriously. These men are choosing to abdicate their role to parent their children and they remain the picture of physical health. Meanwhile, the guy from church who has dedicated his life to serving God and loving his family was condemned to an early death leaving his children, including a newborn, fatherless. It's very tragic. It reminds me very clearly of the short mortal coil we're all on. I have decided to embrace all the small annoyances my Papi has because I know if something were to happen to him I'd sorely miss him scraping his yogurt cup for every last drop, never replacing the toilet paper roll, leaving his dirty clothes everywhere. Yeah, I'd miss it. I don't even want to contemplate losing my partner in crime, life, child-rearing, and buffet eating competitions.

Melody, my half-brother is the 13 year old with Downs Syndrome mentioned. My stepdad just passed away 5 years ago. The only people I've known to pass away have all done so in March. Maybe there's a sliver in truth in the old "Beware The Ides Of March," phrase.