Funeral Songs

January 8, 2009

As I mentioned a few days ago, Andrea and I went to a funeral last week.  It reminded me that Andrea and I have had several conversations about funeral songs over the years.

There are good ones, bad ones, and overused ones. 

Andrea wants Kimberly Hoy to sing I Can Only Imagine at her funeral, and she wants Amazing Grace played on the bagpipes.  I’m not sure what I want.  Nothing overused.  No canned karaoke music.  No organ.

So, I’ve compiled a list of funeral songs that I’ve seen or heard about or that I’m merely suggesting.  There are some good ones and some less stellar ones, so I’ve also added my comments for your reading pleasure. 

Please chime in with your ideas or thoughts.

The list got kind of long as I worked on it for several days and asked a few people for suggestions…

  • I Can Only Imagine – Mercy Me (Getting to be overused?)
  • In Better Hands – Natalie Grant (Not my style, but a great funeral song.)
  • Thank You – Ray Boltz (So 1980’s…  I would strongly advise against not using it.)
  • The Dance – Garth Brooks (If you’re into that sort of thing; I’m not.)
  • Hello Again – Petra (This song could be pretty appropriate.  I only want it at my funeral if John Schlitt will come and sing it!)
  • See You In Heaven – Guardian (I played this at a funeral last year.  Great song!)
  • Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler (I’ve threatened to come back and haunt my wife as a poltergeist for the rest of her life if she has someone sing this at my funeral.  I loathe Bette Midler!)
  • Born to Be Wild – Steppenwolf (Only appropriate at biker funerals.)
  • Amazing Grace (It’s a classic.  Bagpipes get bonus points.)
  • Because He Lives (This hymn is used a lot, but I wouldn’t vote for it.)
  • Home – Daughtry (Andrea’s vote for the perfect funeral song.)
  • Love You ‘Til the End – The Pogues (Andrea wants this one at my funeral.  Nice touch!  I’d be okay with that.)
  • In the Garden (A classic hymn.  I think my grandmother once told me that my grandfather wants this at his funeral.)
  • Candle In the Wind – Elton John (Only if you’re a princess…)
  • Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) – Greenday (An excellent choice!)
  • Who Wants to Live Forever – Queen  (Hmmm… Not sure if it would work or not.)
  • In the Blink of an Eye – Mercy Me (My wife’s suggestion; I can’t stand the song personally.)
  • Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton (That would be a tough one to pull off…)
  • Come to Jesus – Chris Rice  (My wife’s suggestion.)
  • Go Rest High on That Mountain – Vince Gill (A good one for you country fans.)
  • Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone) – Cinderella (My friend Dawn says this was used in her brother’s funeral.)
  • Always Look on the Bright Side of Life – Monty Python (Hmmm…  Probably not.)
  • There Will Be a Day – Jeremy Camp (Not a big Jeremy Camp fan, but this could work…)

For more funeral song ideas… check out, this article about an Australian funeral provider, and this post on The Best and Worst Funeral Songs.

And finally, thanks go out to Andrea, Heather, Dawn, and Clara for their suggestions.

Please add a comment with your thoughts on the list or any other funeral song ideas you have!


A Missed Opportunity

January 3, 2009

On Friday, Andrea and I attended the funeral of Jay Trusley in Oklahoma City.  It was our third trip to OKC in ten days.

Jay was the 24-year-old son of my step-mother, Jana.  Technically, Jay was my step-brother; but we didn’t really have any sort of relationship…  When my dad and Jana married a few years ago, Jana’s two oldest sons were out of the house.  They never really seemed interested in developing any sort of relationship with my siblings.

But I can’t really say that I’ve reached out to them either…  In fact, I don’t think I ever had a real conversation with Jay; just a hello in passing.  And I’m pretty sure that I’ve only seen Jay’s older brother twice – at the wedding and Jay’s funeral.  He lives in New Jersey now, so I’ve got a reasonable excuse.

The funeral was very nice with a lot of flowers and a lot of people.

It was tough one though.  Jay’s death was completely unexpected (and currently unexplained).  Not to mention that parents aren’t supposed to have to bury their children.  Period.  Too bad that God doesn’t follow my rules.

One of the ministers read a lot of thoughts written by friends and family.  I thought it was interesting that he had even set up a Facebook page for friends and family to leave their memories.  Very good use of social networking…

Apparently, Jay was a very funny, larger-than-life kind of guy.  Charismatic.  People just wanted to be around him.  My sister and I discussed after the funeral that we had no idea.  It’s sad that we missed the opportunity.

Happy Anniversary!

December 31, 2008

Today, I’m celebrating 14 years with the most wonderful woman in the world!


Candid Camera

December 30, 2008

As we were driving down to OKC on Christmas Day, the kids were watching Camp Rock in the back.

As you can tell from the video, Jada was having a good time!  The best moments actually occurred before I thought to pull out my phone and record it.

What’s rattling around in my head right now…

December 29, 2008

Happy December 29th!  I’m sure it’s a holiday somewhere.

The UPS truck pulled up to the house today while I was playing Tiger Woods golf on the Wii.  I was surprised because we weren’t expecting anything.  It was a CD called Adrienna Valentine by Trent Wagler and Jay Lapp.  It was a gift from a guy at work.  I had never heard of these guys before but they’re very good.  They play Americana Roots stuff.  I’ve only been able to listen to a few songs, but I really like it so far.  Jay is a mean mandolin player. 

My favorite Christmas present this year was from my brother Jason.  He was the only person that used my Christmas Wishlist post in selecting a gift for me.  He is hooking me up with a new WordPress blog that he is going to host on his server.  And he bought me my own domain –!  I’ve got some work to do to get things up and running over there, so look for the big switch in the next week or two.

We are looking forward to watching the OSU Cowboys play Oregon tomorrow in the Holiday Bowl.  Unfortunately, a trip to San Diego wasn’t in the Burgess budget.  Did you know that the Oregon ducks have 384 possible uniform variations?  That’s crazy!

On Wednesday, Andrea and I will be celebrating our 14th Anniversary.  I’m trying to figure out where to take her for dinner. 

On Friday, we’ll be attending a funeral.  We got a call on the day after Christmas that my step-mother’s middle son, Jay, had passed away in the night.  He was only 24.  It was unexpected and they still aren’t sure what happened.  As you can imagine, the family is in a great deal of shock.  Please pray for my step-mom Jana, and the rest of the family.

Please also pray for my brother Jason and his wife Chevy.  Chevy had a miscarriage the same day that Jay passed away.  That’s really got to suck…  It was a sad day.

Christmas Eve Musings…

December 24, 2008

It’s Christmas Eve and I’m sitting in the La-Z-Boy blogging…  What a loser!

Yesterday, I got to spend some time with several of my friends from high school.  Last year, several of us got together for breakfast and had a great time reconnecting.  I guess it’s officially a tradition now since we already started making plans for next year…  Joe – you’re hosting!

Here’s the group photo.  And just for the record, Andrea didn’t go to high school with the rest of us…

Chirstmas at Crista's 2008

Chirstmas at Crista's 2008

Since we’re leaving town tomorrow, Andrea and I gave the kids one of their presents today – a Nintendo Wii.  I’m not sure who was more excited, me or the kids.  So today has been a Wii-filled day.

We have, however, made some time to check Santa’s location at  This is a pretty cool website.  Jada claims it’s proof that Santa really exists!

In another hour, we’ll be heading downtown for GracePoint’s Christmas Eve service.  The middle school (where we normally meet on Sundays) wasn’t available, so we’re renting the Orpheum, a historic theater in downtown Wichita.

Santa was just sighted over Egypt!

Anyway… have a Merry Christmas tomorrow.  If you’re travelling, be safe.

Baby Named Jesus – The Performance

December 16, 2008

As I mentioned last week, Jada and I were invited to perform at the Bentley Elementary 1st and 2nd grade Christmas program.

Last Friday afternoon was the big day, and Jada did awesome.  After school on Monday, Jada was relieved to be finally get away from “all of her fans”.  Her friends had asked her to sing all day long, and she didn’t really like the attention…  At dinner, she prayed that her fans would find something else to think about!

Anyway, I got the video yesterday, and I thought I would share.

In case you’ve missed the whole saga, it started with a Christmas song that Jada wrote a few weeks ago.  We made a video and the rest is history.