For my first official 3 Of The Week as a part of the MEB staff, I really didn’t have any idea as to what theme I would stick with. Then, early last week, the theme came to me. On Sunday, March 20th, a shockwave erupted through my rural, very tightly knit community as we discovered the news that a young man had passed away cruelly at the ripe, young age of sixteen. Now I’m not going to go into detail in respect to his friends and family, but this young man was brutally and unfairly taken from this world at far too young of an age. The gravity of such a tragedy weighed down heavily on this small community, and people of all ages are still very shaken to this day. In an attempt to reach out and help those who could use a helping hand during such a difficult time (not just the people involved with the above tragedy, but to anyone going through this tragedy in general), I’ve dedicated this 3 Of The Week here on MEB to those who have lost a loved one at any age. With the following songs, I would like to take a walk down the long, somber road that is the grieving process.
1. “I Miss You” – Jamestown Story
First off is the initial realization that someone who was loved by many is gone, and that they won’t becoming back. I chose “I Miss You” by Jamestown Story because it depicts the initial moment of grief that is experienced when someone first finds out that they will never see that loved one ever again. Blame is dealt in every other direction and it is during this process that true anger burns within anyone involved with the deceased. The soft, sympathetic vocals and acoustic drive of the song allow for tears to pour and for the people who were left behind to get through the beginning of the grieving process that is acceptance.
2. “View From Heaven” – Yellowcard
Secondly comes the process of rememberance. After the initial shock and the thoughts of “this can’t be real” and “I must be dreaming” are accepted as truth, loved ones should remember the good times they had with the deceased person rather than remain weighed down by the vast gravity that death brings upon innocent people. This process is conveyed perfectly in Yellowcard’s “View From Heaven.” Ryan Key’s signature vocals move along jubilantly as Key looks back at the great times he had with someone he has lost. As the positive energy of the song floats along, then moves into a true violin breakdown, Key breaks through the happy memories as he exclaims “You won’t be coming back/and I didn’t get to say goodbye/I really wish I got to say goodbye,” making it clear that reflecting on all of the happy times one has had with loved ones that have passed are always bittersweet.
3. “Echoes” – Set Your Goals
Lastly is the most important step of all: moving on. Getting life back to reality is incredibly difficult, and in some cases impossible for people who have lost someone close to them. As “Echoes” by Set Your Goals opens, the fast-paced drums lead the way, remaining stagnant as the backbone of the song as the uplifting lyrics constantly remind the listener that things will be better as long as they give it time. This song touches on the first two steps, grieving and acceptance, then stresses to obliterate the feelings of sadness from the inner sanctum of the brain, accentuated in the line “Don’t let this win over you!” The power and effectiveness of that one line along with the realistic line “And I will keep pieces of you alive in me/Your spirit carries on” cement the will to live on happily, but never to forget the positive impact this person has had on life. Death is a part of life. Without death, we would never be able to appreciate life.
In memory of Zachary D. Harp
July 14, 1994 – March 20, 2011