Band of Horses – "The Funeral"

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To be honest, I have no clue exactly what Ben Bridwell was thinking when he wrote this song. I cannot fully understand the depth of his emotion and am certainly not smart enough to extract the full meaning. But “The Funeral” is one of my top 20 favorite songs of all time – along with “Fix You” and some Michael Jackson tunes I’m sure.

I don’t know what Mr. Bridwell was suggesting, but I know what this song feels like to me. The funeral is where some of us naturally go. We fall in love, just to fear that the love might one day go away. We love people with half-heartedness, because if we go on fully loving we can fully be hurt. We are constantly trying to balance things on in our head and heart, so that our heart is not subject to extreme defeat or extreme pain.

We can’t quit a job that is like a jail sentence because we can’t stand to fathom the consequences of not having financial stability. Instead of thinking of how life-giving this decision can be, we turn to the funeral. In every difficult decision, we choose the funeral over the life. We look at the death sentence instead of the potential for freedom – the potential for joy – the potential to live the life you have always dreamed of.

When you experience death in your family, the funeral comes as second-nature. Devestation can become a normal reflex to the catastrophic – or any low level of suffering – any small thing can become bigger than it is. On the contrary, the funeral can be far from you. Suffering can make you callous – it can make you numb to pain because of the extent of your heart’s past turmoil. Both scenarios rob you of the best. Both scenarios blind you from the truth.

You live, you love, and you lose. You win, you cry and all of the above. You can no longer live life with the lens of a funeral. The funeral is not a perspective that you should get used to. Keep the catastrophic in its place – and boldly walk this life without the reference of the funeral. You don’t need to go there when it’s not there. You don’t have to respond to the worst possible scenario. Fear is a myth (most of the time). Today is your brightest day – with God, the worst possible case is null and void. Go big, and then go home. Peace, and much love to you – John Baptist!

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