Top Ten Songs about Moving on after a Death or Loss

Sometimes you need a song that reminds you that things will be okay again. As they say, acceptance is the final stage of grief and all of the narrator’s in these songs have reached that stage. You’ll find a mixture of styles from country to rock to classical.


“All My Tears” by Julie Miller or Emmylou Harris

“All My Tears” has a more religious feel to it than other songs on this list. I happen to like the Emmylou Harris version a little better, although the two singers sound very similar.

When I go don’t cry for me
In my father’s arms I’ll be
The wounds this world left on my soul
Will all be healed and I’ll be whole

“Bring on the Rain” by Jo Dee Messina with Tim McGraw

This song is about continuing on after bad times. This idea especially hits home when you hear the chorus , “Tomorrows another day / And I’m thirsty anyway / So bring on the rain.”

It’s almost like the hard times circle round
A couple drops and they all start coming down
Yeah, I might feel defeated,
I might hang my head
I might be barely breathing – but I’m not dead

“I Will Remember You” by Sarah McLachlan

What song by Sarah McLachlan isn’t soulful and moving? “I Will Remember You” is a great song about loss and moving on. The lyrics speak about how the life of the singer has been changed by the person who has gone and how she will never forget. The fourth verse illustrates the struggle the person is having letting go: “I’m so afraid to love you, but more afraid to lose/ Clinging to a past that doesn’t let me choose.”

I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don’t let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories

“It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” by Boyz II Men

Boyz II Men’s acapella version of this song is so elegantly done that no one has ever come close to covering it.

I don’t know where this road is going to lead
All I know is where we’ve been
And what we’ve been through.
And I’ll take with me the memories
To be my sunshine after the rain

“Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac or the Dixie Chicks

“Landslide” is an amazing hit by Fleetwood Mac. The song was written by Stevie Nicks shortly before she joined the band. For some reason, I think her live performances of it have a depth to them that the recorded versions lack. The Dixie Chicks also reached the charts with a cover version of the song.

Well, I’ve been afraid of changing
cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Children get older
I’m getting older, too

“Only Time” by Enya

Enya performed this song as part of the soundtrack for Sweet November. Like all Enya songs, it is has a new age feel to it without being too off-the-wall.

Who can say where the road goes,
Where the day flows, only time
And who can say if your love grows,
As your hearth chose, only time

“Raging Sea” by Michael W. Smith

The song takes the tone of someone who has passed on. In the song, the speaker states that he’ll still be close as others continue on their journey.

And when your life is tossed and turning
And you’re on the raging sea
I’ll come and pull you from the water
Then you will know that you are free

“Remember Me This Way” by Jordan Hill

If you’ll forgive the fact that this song was featured on the soundtrack for Casper, it is a hauntingly beautiful song with meaningful lyrics. In the song, the narrator talks about how difficult it will be to leave behind the people she loves.

I’ll make a wish for you
And hope it will come true
That life would just be kind
To such a gentle mind
If you lose your way
Think back on yesterday
Remember me this way

“Smile” by Lonestar

While a number of songs have this title, the one by Lonestar talks about saying good-bye and how the singer wants it to be a good one. He says that “I’m gonna let you go in style / And even if it kills me / I’m gonna smile.”

Kiss me once for the good times, baby
Kiss me twice for good bye
You can’t help how you don’t feel
And it doesn’t matter why
Give me a chance to bow out gracefully
‘Cause that’s how I want you to remember me

“The Show Must Go On” by Queen

This song was part of Queen’s last album released in October 1991. By November, lead singer Freddie Mercury was dead. At the time it was recorded, Mercury was dying from AIDS and some doubted whether or not he could complete the song. According to the legend, Mercury took a shoot of vodka and nailed the song in one take. As his swan song, Mercury couldn’t ask for better.

Empty spaces – what are we living for
Abandoned places – I guess we know the score
On and on, does anybody know what we are looking for…
Another hero, another mindless crime
Behind the curtain, in the pantomime
Hold the line, does anybody want to take it anymore
The show must go on,
The show must go on

“When I Get to Where I’m Going” by Brad Paisley & Dolly Parton

In this song, the narrator talks about all the things he wants to do once he reaches heaven. Some of it leans towards the fantastical like “ride a drop of rain” but most of it has to do with coming to an understanding and peace with life and death.

Yeah, when I get where I’m going
There’ll be only happy tears
I will shed the sins and struggles
I have carried all these years
And I’ll leave my heart wide open
I will love and have no fear
Yeah when I get where I’m going
Don’t cry for me down here

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