February 7th, 2012


The Perfect Song.

When my father died and we were making the funeral arrangements, one of the things I really wanted was to add a track to the playlist Mom was making. I tried to find the perfect song that expressed my feelings, but I could find nothing. I don't generally listen to love songs, so the selection was pretty slim to begin with. I had a couple of tracks in mind, but they didn't feel right for one reason or another. Too happy, too sad, or the melody is right but the lyrics aren't appropriate. Even after the funeral was over I kept looking for that one song, and I found it in an unexpected place.

When I saw the trailers for Final Fantasy XIII-2 I thought the song playing in the background sounded nice, but I didn't pay attention to it. The game's characters talked over the music and I was much more interested in what they were doing rather than the background music. Then I played Final Fantasy XIII-2. When I defeated the final boss and viewed the ending, that song played. That was the first time I truly heard the song, and I was moved by it. I went over to my collector's edition, which includes the game's four-disc soundtrack, and looked for that song. Unfortunately, it was not included. So I tracked down the song, downloaded it, and gave it a listen. Outside the context of a video game, where I could really pay attention to the lyrics, I know instantly that I'd found the perfect song to express my feelings about Dad's death.

I added the song to my Final Fantasy soundtrack on my iPod, putting it at the end of the fourth disc, and then I went straight to my mother and played it for her, after explaining how I'd been looking for just such a song for months. She was deeply touched by the music. As the song went on, she began to cry. I almost cried myself. She thanked me deeply for finding it for her and had me transfer a copy to her iPod. She's listening to it right now, in fact. I can hear it through the door, with her singing along.

If you haven't played Final fantasy XIII-2 or watched the trailers, the song is "New World" by Charice, from her 2011 album "Infinity." I don't listen to pop music, but I can recognize beauty no matter where it comes from.

Mother asked me to put the song on a CD so she can give it to a co-worker. This co-worker's husband died three weeks after Dad, of the same type of cancer, and was diagnosed exactly three weeks after Dad. They are, as she describes it, sisters in grief. I hope that this song will move her as it has moved my mother.
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