Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Musical Send-Off

I recently went to Utah for my Grandma's funeral. She was very old and had been sick for a long time. The funeral was a beautiful experience.

At first, I was upset to hear that my cousin's husband had been asked to sing during the service and not one of the grandchildren. I felt a little better to when I learned that my cousin would be playing the piano, and I do know that Dan has a beautiful voice. But still, I wanted to do something for my Grandma.

Then, my mom called me and asked me to put together a group hymn all the grandchildren could sing together. So I set to work. I wanted to find something that we could all just sing the melody for (I wasn't sure of everyone's musical talents), but was a little bit more than straight out of the hymn book. After some searching, I found this arrangement of "Each Life That Touches Ours For Good." I emailed it to my cousins and waited. One cousin contacted me and asked if she could arrange a viola part to go with it. I agreed that it would be nice.

When we rehearsed before the funeral, I was so grateful for the beautiful music and voices of my cousins. The viola obligato was beautiful and really added to the song. It was hard to get through without crying during rehearsal. It was impossible for us to sing with a dry eye during the service. I think most of my cousins, male and female, were crying at one point in the song. My dad said that the song brought many of the other mourners to tears. My aunt said that the grandchildren singing with such love about the blessing Grandma was in our lives was a beautiful testimony to the woman she is.

The words are beautiful and reminds us how those we love touch our lives, and how we in turn influence others. The people who love us and whom we love can remind us of our Heavenly Father's love for each of us.

  1. Each life that touches ours for good
    Reflects thine own great mercy, Lord;
    Thou sendest blessings from above
    Thru words and deeds of those who love.
  2. What greater gift dost thou bestow,
    What greater goodness can we know
    Than Christlike friends, whose gentle ways
    Strengthen our faith, enrich our days.
  3. When such a friend from us departs,
    We hold forever in our hearts
    A sweet and hallowed memory,
    Bringing us nearer, Lord, to thee.
  4. For worthy friends whose lives proclaim
    Devotion to the Savior's name,
    Who bless our days with peace and love,
    We praise thy goodness, Lord, above.
I know that music can share powerful feelings. I am so grateful that I got to organize this simple song to sing with my cousins as we remembered our grandma.

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