Originally published in May 2018 and updated in September 2020.
The grief of loosing my parents hit me hard and listening to songs about losing a loved one helped me express the feelings that I couldn’t put into words myself. I have always been very close to my parents. Although I knew intellectually that they’d pass at some point, like a small child, I just never imagined that day would ever really come.
In a beautiful, providential way, several very meaningful songs about loss, grief, and love came onto my radar just as I needed them and these 17 songs about missing someone helped me move through the grieving process.
I lost my mom somewhat unexpectedly and then lost my dad unexpectedly six months later. Lost is the word that best describes how it is for me. It’s as though I glanced away for a moment and they’re suddenly, inexplicably gone – lost to me. Losing them was a double whammy that was rough for this momma’s and daddy’s girl.
Finding ways to express my grief to myself was a big part of getting through the grief. I’d felt stuck in it and didn’t know how to move through it (fast enough to suit my practical, let’s-get-‘er-done personality). Finding songs about losing someone that expressed my feelings better than I could myself, helped me understand, deal with and move through my grief.
I’m now in the third year of grieving over the loss of my parents.
My mom was my biggest fan and supporter. Whenever anything happened, good or bad, she was the first person I wanted to talk to about it. She was also the first person I ran to when I was hurt. I inherited my creativity from her.
My dad was the one who told me that I could do anything I put my mind to and be anyone I wanted to if I worked hard enough. He supported my career in the Air Force, in the traditionally male career field of transportation (I wore steel-toed boots and leather work gloves), as much as he did my blogging career.
In my grief, I still feel like this young child, simply wanting my parents with me. I’d even settle for being able to talk to them on the phone. And I be satisfied if we could write letters back and forth. I simply miss them.
A couple of these songs about grief got me through the earliest, rawest times of my grief. Some of these songs about dying are speaking to me now in a new way about loss as I’m entering a new phase of grief. Although I can’t choose any as favorites, I will say that these four songs have particular meaning to me:
- Dancing in the Sky – Dani & Lizzy – I heard this song about 10 months after losing my mom and 5 months after losing my dad. It’s a song about missing someone who died and beautifully expresses my feelings and hopes.
- Over the Rainbow – Israel “Braddah Iz” Kamakawiwo’ole – Growing up in Hawai’i, this has always been a favorite. It was one the one song my brother and I both wanted to play at my parents’ memorial service.
- Even If – Mercy Me – This song was on the radio all the time right after I lost my dad. It helped me stay anchored to my faith at a time when I was buffeted by waves of grief.
- When I’m Gone – Joey+Rory – I’ve just recently discovered this song. I hear my mom’s voice through the lyrics. It’s exactly the message she’d have left me with.
I created the downloadable 77-page My Legacy, My Story workbook to help you record your life story now so your loved ones will have it in the future. It also makes a great gift for your parents or grandparents.
Songs About Losing a Loved One
I’ve listed these songs in no particular order. Don’t discount a song because you don’t like the singer or the genre of music. These are all amazing songs that really touch the heart and express an aspect of loss, love, grief and hope. Be open to each one and see which ones speak to your heart and experience.
Simply click on the videos below to listen to each song.
Dancing in the Sky – Dani & Lizzy
Download a copy for your music collection.
Angel – Sarah McLachlan
You can grab the MP3 version.
Beam Me Up – Pink
Brand New Star – Oak Ridge Boys
Get the MP3 version for youself.
Even If – Mercy Me
Gone Too Soon – Daughtry
Holes in the Floor of Heaven – Steve Wariner
I Will Not Say Goodbye – Danny Gokey
You can download the song to your music collection.
I Will Remember You – Sarah McLachlan
In Loving Memory – Alter Bridge
When I’m Gone – Joey+Rory
Over the Rainbow – Israel “Braddah Iz” Kamakawiwo’ole
Save a Place for Me – Matthew West
Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton
One Sweet Day – Mariah Carey & Boys II Men
When I Get Where I’m Going – Brad Paisley & Dolly Parton
What a Wonderful World – Israel “Braddah Iz” Kamakawiwo’ole
More Resources for When You Lose a Loved One
- Grieving – Practical Tips for Getting Through Grief
- Poems About Losing a Loved One
- Purposeful Ideas to Honor a Deceased Loved One
- End-of-Life Checklist (to make it easier for your loved ones)
Do you have a song that helped you when you were grieving a loss? I’d like to share as many songs about losing a loved one here because different songs speak to different people’s hearts and experiences.