Do kids belong at funerals?

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Music soothes the soul, and the grieving heart

I’ve been thinking about funeral music lately. The songs played at funerals while photos of the person’s life are being shown.  Why was that particular song selected? What meaning does it have that perhaps only a few of the visitors know?

For instance:

Standing around my mother’s grave, my family sang “Leaving on a Jet Plane”  Not a normal selection indeed, but it was a song that we all knew and sang together anytime the family gathered for any reason. The guitars would come out, someone would start playing it.. and we’d all join in. Singing the family favorites. Leaving on a Jet Plane, Family Tradition, Sloop John B, I Walk the Line and many, many others.

So on that very sad day – ALL of us…. standing around my mother’s fresh grave right next to my daddy’s grave, and filled with sadness & grief … well, we did what we always did. . . .


The guitars came out and we just started singing.


When we thought of the words, “I’m leaving on a jet plane” we started looking sideways at each other and smiling. Soon, we were giggling. What a send off!!


Then we got quiet/  One by one we started placing flowers on her grave. We held each other. We cried while looking around at our family.. our big crazy family… and knew that Lt. Col Charles & Mrs. Doris Parrish would be pleased.

parrish family  The Parrish family.

I’m curious…. what songs have you chosen for your funeral?

My choices, so far, are “In My Life” by the Beatles, and “What a Wonderful Life” by Louis Armstrong.  And both my kids know this.


**Note – I do not own any copyright to any of the attached videos. I shared the links from YouTube.

Hundreds of Butterflys

Very seldom do I see things about death and children. This blog was so beautifully written, I wanted to share it with you. A wonderful mother lost her father about 9 months ago. Two beautiful blog posts came from her experience. The funeral has offered many books and brochures on the subject, but this is from the personal experience of a mother dealing with the illness and death of her father. .

To Amy I’d like to say, “Well done! You are an amazing mother, and a wonderful daughter. I am so sorry for your loss, but I am certain your dad is very proud of you and will live through you,  in the things you have the courage to teach to your family”

In my opinion, I think she handled it quite well! Her blog is called “Using your Words”

Here’s a sample from Tips for talking to kids about death and illness.:
About a month ago, a friend of mine asked me if I would consider writing about how to talk to kids about illness and death. She thought this wonderful community might have tips to share with her as she prepares her kids—and herself—for saying goodbye to her mom. I was honored that she’d trust me to start this conversation on such a personal topic, but also overwhelmed by what it meant: That I’d have to face the fact that I should be having some of these talks with my kids—and myself—as my dad struggles through his battle with brain cancer.

Here are the links to her posts

Hundreds of Butterflys and Tips for talking to kids about death and illness