Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Grief Project: 35 Songs for Mourning Your Child

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 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 starting belting out tunes 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.  Now that's awful.  But with no one around and for the sake of my soul, I sang anyways.  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" Joy S. Berger states in her article Playing with Playlists in Techniques of Grief Therapy. Here she talks about how using musical playlists helps the bereaved continue to create bonds through music they associate with the deceased.  Ultimately, as Berger states, "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.  Even before creating this larger list, I had created my own that helped me get through grief after the death of Nora. The first 7 are from my playlist.  The rest I gathered from other bereaved moms.  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.

35 Songs for Mourning Your Child
  1. Stars by Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
  2. Halleluiah by The Coverband (Original version by Alexandra Burke)
  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


  1. Tori Amos had a new cd come out right after my baby died and she ironically had a song she had written about all of her miscarriages. The song (which I've dubbed Harper's song after my daughter) is called Carry. To this day, two years later, it's the one song that aids me in embracing my grief.

    1. My favorite too! It didn't come out until many years after my Mark had passed. She has so many songs about losing a child, she's a great resource for a mourning mom!

  2. Great list. Thank you for sharing. I have a few to add that walk with me in my grief...Your Hands by JJ Heller, I Will Wait by Mumford and Sons, If I Die Young by The Band Perry, and You Are Goodbye by Holly Conlon.

  3. With Hope Steven Curtis Chapman <3

  4. From my personal grief song list:

    Still by Gerrit Hofsink
    I Will Carry You by Selah
    Beam Me Up by Pink
    I'll See You Again by WestLife
    Smallest Wingless by Craig Cardiff
    Borrowed Angels by Kristin Chenoweth
    Hug Him Once for Me by Erica McClure
    The One Who Knows by Dar Williams with Alison Krauss

    1. I Will Carry You was my theme song when going through my fatal prognosis pregnancy...

  5. A Visitor From Heaven - Twila Paris

  6. precious child karen taylor-good is another great song that should be on the list! :-)

  7. Godspeed by the Dixie Chicks. I sing it to my son all the time.

  8. My Name by George Canyon!! It's a song about miscarriage written through the baby's eyes. Beautiful, always makes me cry. Also love I Will Not Say Good-bye by Danny Gokey

  9. Gone Too Soon by Daughtry

  10. So many great songs...

    Homesick, MercyMe
    Noah, Hello Goodbye, Michael W. Smith
    Love them like Jesus, Casting Crowns
    With Hope, Steven Curtis Chapman

    I'm new to your blog and will be following you more. I lost my son to still birth at 9 months. He would be 10 years old this coming May. Still seems like yesterday...

  11. This list is seriously great. I've come across a couple of Pearl Jam songs in the past year (my husband is obsessed with them...) that VERY much apply...

    Pearl Jam--Other Side (this one's from the point of view of the other side--about being away from the one you love)
    Pearl Jam--Come Back
    Pearl Jam--Light Years (we had the lyrics to this one printed in the pamphlet at Luke's service...At the time, it's exactly how we felt)

  12. Kerosene and Climbing Clouds by Jetty Rae. Both written in remembrance of her stillborn daughter. They are frequently played on my playlist!

    1. Agreed. Here's Climbing Clouds:

  13. We had Mufford and sons Timshel. Its about not being alone. my husband has 4 brothers and for some reason this song just stuck in my head for the girls funeral.

  14. Talking to the Moon by Bruno Mars, and Come What May from Moulin Rouge

  15. Safe and Sound by Taylor Swift. Hear You Me by Jimmy Eat World.

  16. Promise To Try - Madonna
    Angel Standing By - Jewel

    We used both these songs at our Nora's Memorial service along with Somewhere Over the Rainbow which you already listed.

  17. The one that our NILMDTS photographer used on our CD is "Sweet Sweet Baby" by MIchelle Featherstone. It's a love song but the lyrics couldn't more perfect for missing a sweet baby.

  18. I'm sorry for everyone's loss. My Riley was 17 months old and these are either songs we played at his service or ones that remind me of him.

    Unstoppable - by Rascal Flatts
    I won't Let Go - by Rascal Flatts
    The Perfect Fan - by The Backstreet Boys
    If I Die Young - by The Band Perry

  19. Wow! So many great ideas. Thank you to everyone for sharing. I'll have to make a new list. ❤️

  20. Little Wonders- Rob Thomas is one of my all time favorites

  21. Thank you for this!! I love seeing all of these songs, many of which I have never heard.

    I second "Beam Me Up" by Pink
    Just Breathe - Willie Nelson
    What'll I do - Nat King Cole
    I'll be seeing you - Billie Holiday
    Happy ever after in your eyes - Ben Harper
    Traces of You - Anoushka Shankar and Norah Jones
    Make You Feel My Love - Adele
    If you listen - Elizabeth Mitchell

    1. You are welcome. I love how everyone is creating this big list.

    2. Can I suggest also Geroge Canyon MY NAme that is my song for my daughter born still here is the youtube link be prepared to cry

  22. I created a whole playlist of songs that matched my "mood" after we lost our son this past February.

    Missing You ~ Case
    My Immortal ~ Evanescence
    Hymn for the Missing ~ Red
    Skies of L.A. ~ Celine Dion
    Try Sleeping with a broken heart ~ Alicia Keys
    Again ~ Lenny Kravitz
    Pray for forgiveness ~ Alicia Keys
    Kiss from a rose ~ Seal
    Let it Burn ~ Red
    Worn ~ tenth avenue north
    With Hope ~ Stephen Curtis Chapman
    I will carry you ~ Selah
    I can only Imagine ~ Mercy Me
    Cornerstone ~ Hillsong
    Pieces ~ Red
    Alright ~ Calvin Nowell
    Take Heart ~ Hillsong

  23. Held by Natalie Grant

  24. Replies
    1. I have been looking for the singer of that song. Thanks.

  25. Heaven Got Another Angel ... Gordon Garner
    Tears in Heaven ... Eric Clapton
    If you could see me now ... Jeff Bates
    Shadow of the day ... Linkin Park

  26. "I cried for you" by Katie Melua

  27. hi sweet friend. my heart aches for you.
    ~remembering Nora always~

    I wrote a blog post last year about songs that have helped me.

    I have not heard of a few you posted. Will have to go listen and add to my list :)
    Love you

  28. I don't want to miss a thing....Aerosmith
    How do I live.... Trisha Yearwood
    Make you feel my Love....Trisha Yearwood

  29. This Woman's Work by Kate Bush and then later by Maxwell (heard a week before we lost our baby due to chromosome abnormalities at 15.4 weeks and it shook me to the core).

  30. Saint Sahara - Rick Springfield

  31. Halleluiah by Leonard Cohen still the best, most soulful. I guess it would have to be since it's his song. :)

  32. Lullaby - Trout Fishing in America. It reminds me of my kids and speaks to me of seeing the one who are angels again in heaven.

  33. Untouchable part 2 by anathema

  34. Shanna Naputi @landonchases_mommy on InstagramNovember 20, 2013 at 5:14 AM

    FEELS LIKE HOME from My Sister's Keeper was played at my Precious Baby Boy 's Funeral. <3 It touched my heart..

  35. My favorites are
    "Fly" by Celine Dion
    "If Heaven wasn't so far away" by Justin More
    "One more Day" by Diamond Rio
    "A little fall of rain" Les Mis
    "How Do I Live" by Leanne Rimes
    "Here Comes Goodbye" by Rascall Flats

  36. I'm always on the lookout for new songs for mourning my stillborn daughter and missed miscarriage...
    • Olivianna by JJ Heller (about a baby who lived for 11 minutes)
    • Open My Hands by Sara Groves
    • From This One Place by Sara Groves
    • You Are Not Alone by Kate Hurley
    • Wintersong by Sarah McLachlan
    • Ten by Yellowcard
    • Goodbye by Avril Lavigne
    • I Want You Here by Plumb (about infant loss)
    • Winter Song by Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson
    • How Can You Mend A Broken Heart by Al Green
    • Lost by Priscilla Ahn (reminds me of the process of grief)
    • Keep Breathing by Ingrid Michaelson (about keeping on)

  37. We had 'Still' by Gerrit Hofsink played at our Baby Girl's funeral in January, it is so beautiful and fitting. I also love 'Precious Child' by Karen Taylor.

    I am so very sorry for your loss, there are so many similarities in our stories it is heartbreaking, and your Daughter was born very close to mine. Summer Ruby left the world on 3rd January 2013 and entered it too late on 4th. Your website has given us comfort as we approach our first Christmas without her, our Due Date (Boxing Day), and her first Birthday. Thank you xx

  38. Together again by Paul Brandt - I heard this for the first time just after our daughter Eva was born prematurely and died in May 2013. My husband's song for our daughter is Don't you worry child by Swedish House Mafia. We have slightly different tastes in music!
    Thank you for everything you write Lindsey.

  39. As we are approaching my angel daughter's sixteenth (!) birthday, this was so appropriate to come by. Many of these songs resonant with me. My favorite though is The Dance by Garth Brooks:
    I'm Glad I Didn't Know
    the way it all would end
    the way it all would go
    Our lives, are better left to chance
    I Could have missed the pain
    But I'd have to Miss, The Dance

    The pain is sometimes still so fresh and raw, but it really did ease with time. I will have to check out some of the songs on these posts that I don't recognize.

    (((HUGS))) to all.

  40. These songs are incredible...thank you all for your compilations. I am not a grieving mother, but our family lost a dear one to still birth 4 years ago...My brother and SIL lost their precious son 2 days before his due date, changing their lives, and the family as a whole, for life. And I think we have all found music to be healing! So again, thank you all.
    I ran across this beautiful song around the time of my nephew's "angelversary."

    Dancing in the Sky by Dani & Lizzy

  41. My little angel left me and my wife on this past Saturday morning to be with the Lord............

    Gone Too Soon........This version was sung by Stevie Wonder and BabyFace

  42. I lost my baby a week ago... I was 10 weeks pregnant. I am having a very hard time coping with the loss. My husband and I have been trying for 3 years to have a baby and now it gone. I know the baby is safe now and is our little angel in heaven but I would give anything to have our baby back. I turn to music for comfort but that emptiness is still there. I didn't get all those wonderful moments of having a life growing inside me. Never felt the kicks, movements, or even the heart beat. How do I get through this?

  43. Amazing by Janelle. We just lost an amazing young lady who also was our goalie on my daughter's hockey team.

  44. "Dancing in the Sky" by Dani&Lizzy

  45. In the sun by Joseph arthur.. picked this song for my nephew that was a still born

  46. a prayer for the unborn - Gary Numan

  47. Hello! I'm a singer/songwriter from Columbus, Ohio and I recently wrote a CD to heal from losing a child.

    We lost our baby on Easter Sunday 2008 and it ripped my heart to shreds. I didn't know how to pull myself out of the depression & grief, so I started writing songs. I wrote 5 songs that I recorded and started singing those heartfelt songs at memorials for parents who have lost children.

    Here is a link to the CD on Amazon , but I'd be willing to share the Dropbox link with you for free to give to people who need it.

    Thanks for what you do.

    Heather Evans

    1. I would really love to hear your songs you wrote, could you please send me the link

  48. I just want to know how you all survived and didn't lose your minds bc I am. I lost my 4 year.. my son, my heart is broken, I can't make myself to wake up anymore, everything is pointless.. all I do is cry, all I want is to hug him, once, just once

    1. You don't ever get over it but life does go on as bad as that sounds. I still get moments that hit me out of nowhere & it was be 5yrs next week sense we lost our little angle. With me I had to try & push everything a side (hid it) I also had 2 younger daughters that needed their mother too as hard as that was I had to be there for them & not worry about myself.

  49. For those grieving and wondering how to go on, its only been 3 weeks for us, so I'm hardly an expert, after a roller coaster ride and getting passed all of the hurdles our little Layla overcame, she ended up getting sepsis and passing. We decided from the beginning to make everything a celebration, including her service this weekend. It is a celebration of life service. We're not overly religious people but somehow knew God has a plan, Laylas birth was to save future children. We focus on every precious moment we had with her. There are days I want to lash out and blame this Dr. But I think of her watching me. Last night I had a dream I went up stairs and Layla was in the bed, all healed, no tubes, no monitors, just pink and healthy, I picked her up and smelled her and held her, changed her diaper.... I cried this morning, but with a smile. I know she is in an amazing place.

  50. Oct 29, 1977.....37 years ago tonight....6 months old...SIDS.....You learn to live with it...but still cry like yesterday. RIP Melissa

  51. This is my number #1 song for my born sleeping angel almost 16 years ago it is called My Name by George Canyon here is the Link

  52. When my five week old son died in 2001, I used to listen to I hope you dance by Lee Ann Womack. I even played it at his mass of angels before we buried him.

    Ed Sheeran Small Bump

  54. My daughter just had my first grand son Jaxson was just born on February 2nd, 2015, but was stillborn. I showed her a song that i listen to all the time when i was pregnant with her and she had it playing at the start of the service at the funeral home and it was so appropriate in this situation. The song was Unborn Hearty Dan Hill

  55. My baby girl, Elizabeth Rose, died less than an hour after birth thus past Monday, February 16. I Will Carry You by Selah is my story and will be played at her memorial service. We were told she had many birth defects not compatible with life, but I decided to carry her and pray for a miracle. While I didn't get a miracle, I got time to spend with her in the womb because we knew she would likely not get to live outside the womb. That is precious to me. I enjoyed each day I got to spend with her. I know she is with our Father in heaven and one day we will be reunited.

  56. June 12, 2007 We lost our son I was 7 months pregnant. It was the hardest thing I have ever gone through. It didn't just effect my husband and myself but also his 3older brothers. I was lucky I had a great support group. I never knew but my mom and other relatives had gone through the same thing. I really needed to see this. All these years I have felt like I was alone and sad. I never felt like I could talk to anyone but family about this.
    Kidnap an Angel- Bon Jovi
    Is always the song that makes me feel closest to Arthur. My brothers call him King Arthur.
    We were blessed. We have 3 yr old twin girls, but I still miss my baby boy. My angel!
    Once again Thank You so very much!!!��

  57. Back in '89 went to memorial service for all lost children and there was a song we sang called "in his arms" written by libby kirkley-best and cannot find it anywhere....anyone ever heard of it? if you know it please e mail me info.....Thanks

  58. The Smiths - Suffer Little Children

    1. We are preparing for the memorial of my 10 month old nephew today who passed Christmas Eve morning. We will play Precious Child by Karen Taylor, In the Arms of an Angel by Sarah McLachlan and Heaven Needed a Hero by Jo Dee Messina


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