It is not unusual to love a particular song, to feel it speaks for us, or speaks out an inner feeling we cherish deep inside. For this to occur, it doesn’t matter what we believe or where we come from, our language or age or nationality - it is simply part of our human make-up.

When we identify deeply with a song, there is something about it which may remind us of a memory of who we are or remind us of home. It is as if the lyrics and melody of this song resonate precisely and powerfully with core, essential elements inside of us.

It doesn’t matter when or where we hear such a song- time stops and we feel magic in the air. We feel we are being given a gift in the shape of a song and want to treasure and enjoy the experience as long as we can.

This process begins by hearing a song which touches our very soul, creating a feeling of deep affinity which transcends the normal act of listening to music.

But that is not the end of the process. Because as we are hearing the song which touches us, we have also somehow become the song. How is that so? Because to the listening heart, there is no distinction between the listener and the listened-to. The subject and object become one in the moment of deep listening.

We are, in fact, the song itself.

Some might say our soul is a song, which could very well be true, but what can be proven is that vibration is at the heart of life, and this vibration can take the form of light, sound or both.

If we were to track the vibration of sound back to its source, we would enter the territory of what philosophers and mystics have called the Great Song. This is the same Song which people have claimed to hear upon their deathbed, as they close their eyes and drift into a reverie upon the meaning of their lives.

In my years spent in hospice, creating original songs for those on their final passage, I realized that the dying person was often less in need of a comforting song then the ones not dying - the family, friends and care providers gathered ‘round. They wished to offer support but were often without the same access to their own inner music which the dying person could often hear quite clearly.

For myself, one consequence of this experience was to realize how essential this Great Song was for all of us, and how reconnecting to this Great Song - before we are on our deathbed- was a wise and liberating focus worthy of our attention and consideration. Not only worthy, but a potential antidote to worry and fear surrounding death and dying.

In other words, by remembering the Great Song while yet alive, and realizing the Great Song has no expiration date, we have a possibility for reducing or even alleviating much of the fear around our own death.

To remember that at the heart of all things we are song, and every song eventually returns to the Great Song, like a wave returning to the sea.

Resource: Graceful Passages: A Companion for Living and Dying. Wisdom of the World/New World Library (2000) by Michael Stillwater and Gary Malkin.