My list of songs to minister to those in a time of grief, all of which have ministered to me over the years as I have processed and dealt with the grief of losing our son, WM, who was 7 weeks old (in 2000).
1. Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus – Michael W. Smith: The ultimate admonition. Hymns touch a special place in my heart, and this one has a significant place in the grieving process.
2. Sun and Shield – J. M. Gulley: Written after the composer's college-age younger brother had suddenly died of heart failure. Powerful, especially given the context.
3. Praise You in This Storm – Casting Crowns: I don't take the opportunity to listen to Christian radio often, although I could use streaming internet to do so. One of the few times I have, this song was playing. Providential, I think.
4. Blessed Be Your Name – Matt Redman: This song was not debuted until a couple of years after WM's death, but it summarized so perfectly my feelings that it took my breath away when I first heard it. And of course I sobbed.
5. Held – Natalie Grant: There could not be a song more tailored to our loss. I was on the way to meet with a friend for coffee (in the States) when it came on the radio. I lost it. Fortunately, my friend understood.
6. Be Near – Shane & Shane: The cry of every believer in grief.
7. ‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus – Carman: It is. 'Nuf said.
8. He’s My Son – Mark Schultz: While the circumstances are different than ours, this song captures the heart of grief and hope.
9. Outstretched Hands – Starfield: A cry from the depths of despair, where those grieving can find themselves
10. Come for Me – Charlie Hall: Patient, hopeful, passionate waiting for the ultimate Comfort of reunion with Him
11. Rock Solid (On Christ the Solid Rock) – Passion Worship Band: When all else is sinking sand
12. You Are My Supply – J. M. Gulley: Written for the composer's friend, who had just lost her one living parent
*13. Word of God Speak - MercyMe: The very essence of what is needed in the depths of grief
*14. We Love You, Jesus - Greg Long: I first fell in love with this song driving to and from my teaching job before MS was born. It is what I constantly strive for my attitude to be. We had it sung at WM's memorial service, as it was fitting.
*15. We Will Dance - David Ruis: A very hopeful song for me in the months after WM's death as I pictured the day I would dance will all of my children.
*16. You Are My Hiding Place - Selah: Our refuge
*17. Bring the Rain - MercyMe: A powerful statement of willingness to endure pain and suffering for his glory
(*18. I Will Carry You - Selah: To be released Fall '08. Written and recorded for Angela and Todd Smith while they were walking through the impending loss of the daughter she was pregnant with, as they learned that she would not survive outside the womb.)
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
*Added since the original posting of the list.