Songs to Say Goodbye to Tucker

Friday, August 05, 2011

Planning a funeral/memorial is not an enjoyable activity. Unfortunately we have had to do so, trying to find a way to say a proper goodbye to Madpoet's brother Tucker.With his family grieving it has fallen to us to plan the service, and part of that is the music. This part of the family is not religious, the opposite in fact. So the only request we were given was nothing religious. How do you plan the right tone for everyone involved: those who are thinking of a higher place, those who do not, those who are grieving in their own ways? People suggested that perhaps we choose songs Tucker liked, but we thought having "Highway to Hell" was not the best choice for a funeral. Though we all had a good smile together listening to it.

After weeks of pouring over songs, trying to find the right combination of tones, we feel we finally came to a place we are comfortable with. This was a collaborative effort between all of the family, and it is in this spirit we give you a belated pick six of songs to say goodbye to Tucker.

1. Eric Clapton: Tears in Heaven. This was the one choice Tucker's wife asked for. It was a song they both liked, despite the fact neither one believed in heaven at all. Still, Tucker loved Clapton and they found this to be a nice song. It was also the last song they listened to together.

2. Josh Groban: To Where You Are. This song is truly beautiful but a little old fashioned for someone who died so young. Still, for the older family members it touches the right chord, and the sentiment of the song-which is that those who we love are not ever that far from us, is a nice one.

3. Donovan: Catch the Wind. This one was found sort of by accident, when it popped into my head the morning after we'd spent hours listening to songs. The song seemed to fit the occasion, and Tucker, who was always a little elusive to us all in life anyway. The lyrics of this song will be in the program.

4. Tom Petty: Wildflowers. Madpoet chose this one in particular because it fits Tucker's personality quite well, it was an album they both loved, and if there was anyone who deserves to be in a place where they feel truly free from the burdens of life-it's Tucker.

5. Bruce Springsteen: You're Missing. This was another one that I ran across quite by accident, after we had spend hours trying to find the right songs, and when I heard it I knew it was right for the family-his wife in particular. In the weeks since we found him, she has been experiencing all these emotions-the bed is too empty, the phone keeps ringing, everyone wants to know if she is all right...and all she knows is that in her world he's missing. It's a lovely song.

6. Ben Folds Five: Evaporated. El Kaiser Guapo found this song and it was perfect. The first stanza in particular is very applicable to Tucker's life:
"What I've kept with me
and what I've thrown away
don't know where the hell I've ended up
on this glary, random day
Were the things I really cared about
just left along the way
for being too pent up and proud
here I stand - sad and free
I can't cry and I can't see
what I've done
God. . .what have I done"
I know it's a somber thought, but when we are faced with the rest of our lives without him we can't help but wonder if there was a moment, at the end, when he thought what have I done? I know it's something we've all asked ourselves...what have you done? Why choose to leave us? Questions without answers, but ones we'll learn to live with as time goes by. And what we take from this first passing of our group is that family is forever, love is all we have to give to one another that matters, and time is precious.

Eric Clapton - Tears In Heaven

Josh Groban - To Where You Are (Live)

Donovan - Catch The WInd

Tom Petty - Wildflowers

Bruce Springsteen - You're Missing (Live)

Ben Folds Five - Evaporated

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