September 9, 2011 - submitted by Genevieve, Australia

My brother's best friend died last week. He was only 26 years old and it was completely sudden and shocking. He was more like a brother than a friend to my siblings and I. I have been listening to sad songs lately (Into The West from LOTR is a good one). Do you know any good songs that you can recommend which deal with death or the loss of a loved one?

The Oracle replies:

Genevieve, I'm sorry to hear of your pain. To lose someone close is always painful and possibly more so when it's sudden and someone so young.
I am sure readers will have suggested some songs to comfort you or that you may relate to but I am going to try a different angle as I know none better than Fix You. I'm going to suggest something to make you hopefully celebrate your friend's life and what he meant to you.
Play songs by his favourite artist or songs that remind you of happy times spent together. When you hear those songs they may make you want to cry but think of him and smile. Over to you.

I feel for you in your time of loss and music is a good way to get in touch with deeper emotions. The songs I can recommend are Dante's Prayer by Loreena McKennit (for when you need to cry), Night Vision by Suzanne Vega (for deep introspection) and Firework by Katy Perry (for hope). Best wishes to you, chin up, move forward and take care, Laurie.

If I Die Young (The Band Perry) is a good song about a person trying to convince the ones they love that it's okay. Coldplay's The Scientist is also good, but very sad. Alyssa.

I'm sorry for your brother and you. I can recommend those beautiful songs by Jack Johnson, If I Could on the In Between Dreams album and Go On, on Sleep Through the Static. Both deal with loss of a loved one. I also recommend Monsoon on this last album. Hope this helps. Benoit.

I'm so sorry to hear about what happened to your friend Genevieve. Some songs I listen to when I'm down are Gravity, Fix You, and the Scientist by Coldplay, You Raise Me Up by Westflife, Let it Be by the Beatles, and Boston by Augustana. But Genevieve, we cant just dwell in music whenever something tragic happens. Music does help us a lot in times of trouble, but just listening to music alone will make things more troubling. Talking and hanging out with friends and family will make things less unbearable and make life a little bit better. Things like this take time so just let things fall into place. I wish you the best Genevieve and may your friend rest in peace. Billy N.

I've recently lost a loved one too. The song 42 from Coldplay themselves might fall into the category that you're looking for. I don't know if you've heard of it, but it's really a great song with a lot of meaning. Besides that, try the song Exile by Enya; its lovely. Take care, Adrienne.

Catherine Wheel - Goodbye. Courtney.

To begin with, I offer your family, brother, & you my condolences. Losing a loved one can be a painful experience for anyone who considered that loved one a very fundamental part of their LIFE. It can lead to having difficulty coping with that loss. To lose a loved who you admired with all your heart. That special someone always brought a smile to you, & your loved ones. In times like these, your loved ones will understand if you prefer to be left alone. It will allow you to think and evaluate how you feel at this very moment. It's okay to feel sad, angry, depressed, or guilty. If you feel the need to cry, then by all means please cry. Unbottle all of your emotions. It's a normal path of behavior that everyone will go through in their lives. Sometimes, it's part of the healing process. Always remember that your family, & friends will always remain by your side to aid you in coping with this tragic loss of a loved one. Together you will always contain the memory of your friends in all of your hearts.
As for the song that will help you cope with your loss. It's Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own by U2. From my point of view, it's a consoling song. I prefer it to be about missing that special person with all of your heart. Sure things might have happened, but what keeps you going is the sweet memory of that loved one. It signifies that it's understandable if you try to hide your hurt feelings, but with the passage of time reveal your feelings, if it means finding closure. Danny.

Genvieve, I'm really, really sorry to hear about your friend. I too, have a friend who is more like a brother to me and I don't know what I would do without him. Listenning to sad songs is not the worst you can do so you're holding up well and being very strong. I respect you for that. As for songs... I would suggest, Every Teardrop is a Waterfall, Lovers in Japan, Party Rock anthem, etc. I know they have nothing to do with death but... As far as positivity goes. Bingo. No ones wants you sad, your family and friends want to see you happy and well! That's why I'm suggesting positive and upbeat songs. You would be surprised at how much music can affect your mood. So just crank up the volume and blast any song that makes you happy or reminds you of a happy memory. Things always get better. Grace.

I think music is one of the most cathartic and beautiful forms of coping with grief. I recently bought this wonderful album by Arcade Fire called Funeral. It was dedicated to several close relatives of the band who recently passed away. The entire album is filled with grief and nostalgia, but a certain kind of hope too. In the Backseat by Arcade Fire is one of those tragic songs. I hope it helps bring you a bit of peace. Gavin.

I'm terribly sorry for your loss. At one point or another, I'm sure that all of us have listened to music to reflect what we are feeling. Just remember that while certain songs can be comforting, it is best not to go overboard and perpetuate your grief or sorrow by continuing to listen to sad songs. This will keep you in a rut and will prevent you from healing. That being said, here are a few songs that often express how I feel...
Audioslave - Getaway Car, Sara Bareilles - Gravity, John Mayer - Dreaming with a Broken Heart, Edge of Desire, Coldplay - The Scientist, Fix You, Amsterdam. Here is an upbeat one that always gets me up and at 'em. J. Mascis & The Fog - Back Before You Go. Best Regards, Blake.

First of all Genevieve, I'm very sorry for your loss. If you are looking for a good song to help you during this difficult time, the first song that comes to mind is Videotape by Radiohead. Although it is more written in the first-person, if you can listen to the song and imagine your friend singing it, I imagine you might find it very comforting. Even though it deals with death, I find many of the lyrics to have a hopeful tone. "No matter what happens now you shouldn't be afraid. Because I know today has been the most perfect day I've ever seen." Best wishes, Carrie.

While I would recommend Arcade Fire's album, Funeral in its entirety, there's one song that has really spoken to me, especially in times of need, and that is the final track In the Backseat. While Funeral has songs that are perfect for recovering from sadness, In the Backseat deals with death, and going through the stages to recovery; such as depression, anger, and acceptance. I would also recommend Festival by Sigur Ros, the first half of the song is solemn, but the latter half is a bit of a "wake up call." That song is just a great way to recover from sadness, and coming to terms with it, and coming out in the end, happy. I'm terribly sorry about your loss, and I wish you the best that life has to offer. Bradley H.

Being that I've had lost loved ones in the past there are a few songs that I recommend that have been powerful and moving. They include:
Videotape - Radiohead
Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space - Spiritualized
Untitled #4 - Sigur Ros
End of the End - Paul McCartney
Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End - The Beatles
Good Night - The Beatles
Motion Picture Soundtrack - Radiohead
Grow Old With Me - John Lennon
I'm sure there are more. But these are the ones I can think of. To Genevieve I wish your brother the best. The loss of a loved whether it be a family member or friend is terrible. Best wishes! Mike.

Thank you once again for your kind and helpful replies guys. See you all back here in October for our next Team Oracle.