17 Sad Songs About Losing a Spouse or Partner

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You can hardly turn on the radio or flip through a playlist without hearing dozens of songs about heartbreak and loss. After all, many people lose their spouses or partners through death or other circumstances, which makes it a universal experience. Poets and songwriters have long tried to describe this unique form of grief.

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We compiled a few songs about losing a spouse or partner. Grab a tissue. You’re going to need one after thinking about these sad songs

Pop Songs About Losing a Spouse

While some of the losses described in these songs may occur due to a death, others may happen as the result of a breakup. Regardless of the circumstances, the grief may feel similar, no matter the specifics of the situation. 

If you recently lost a spouse, you may consider using some of these songs to accompany the funeral slideshow. Some of these songs may even speak to you if you recently experienced the death of an estranged parent. 

1. “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion

You may automatically feel sad as you hear the opening strains of “My Heart Will Go On” because of the song’s heart-wrenching lyrics or because of the movie that made this song famous. 

2. “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban

Some people name this beautiful song by Josh Groban a Christian anthem and others use it to describe the love they feel for someone else. We think it can be interpreted either way:

“You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains.
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas.
I am strong when I am on your shoulders.
You raise me up to more than I can be.”

3. “Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler

The movie “Beaches” made this song famous. Although the movie is about friendship, it could describe romantic love as well.

4. “Far From Perfect, But He Was Mine” by Chanteuse

This tear-jerker song is about the death of a husband who was far from perfect. You can use it as a funeral song or you may want to add it to your playlist of songs to listen to when you want to think about your deceased loved one. 

ยป MORE: Do you know someone who's experiencing a loss? This checklist is here to help.

 

Country Songs About Losing a Spouse

You can point to hundreds of country songs about loss by popular country music artists. In fact, some of your favorite nostalgic songs may cover a breakup or death.

5. “See You Again” by Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood’s song, “See You Again” is about how we carry our loved one’s memories with us until we join together again in the afterlife. Some of the lyrics read, “I will see you again. This is not where it ends. I will carry you with me, ‘till I see you again.”

6. “There You’ll Be” by Faith Hill

This song can express both sadness over the loss of a loved one and appreciation for having had that person in your life. The lyrics go like this: 

“In my dreams, I’ll always see you soar above the sky, 
In my heart, there’ll always be a place for you, 
For all my life, I’ll keep a part of you with me, 
And everywhere I am, there you’ll be.”

This song was used in the movie “Pearl Harbor.” It won an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

7. “The Beaches of Cheyenne” by Garth Brooks

This Garth Brooks song tells the story of a woman who grieves the loss of her husband killed by a bull while competing at a rodeo. She ends up running into the ocean in the midst of her grief. The song continues: 

“They never found her body, just her diary by the bed. 
It told about the fight they had and the words that she had said, 
When he told her he was ridin’ she said,
‘Then I don’t give a damn If you never come back from Cheyenne.'”

8. “Whiskey Lullaby” by Alison Krauss and Brad Paisley

While this is not a song that would be appropriate for a funeral, it is undoubtedly a sad song that tells the story of a couple grieving over the loss of their relationship. Both ended up “face down in the pillow.”

9. “Drink a Beer” by Luke Bryan

The speaker in this song receives the news of a loved one’s death. Not knowing what else to do, he goes to a pier and mourns for his loved one the best he knows how.

10. “He Stopped Loving Her Today” by George Jones

Some think that “He Stopped Loving Her Today” ranks as one of the saddest songs ever recorded. It is about the death of a man who never stopped loving his wife, even though their relationship ended decades earlier. 

Rock or Alternative Songs About Losing a Spouse

Rock musicians also sing about death and the afterlife. Read through a few to consider that offer a variety of messages. 

11. “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd

We know that this particular song by Pink Floyd is about a band member who suffered from mental health issues, but it still speaks about the universal suffering that comes when someone we love is no longer around. 

12. “Spirit in the Sky” by Norman Greenbaum

This rock song from 1969 has a gospel feel and has been a popular choice of songs at modern funerals. It begins, “When I die and they lay me to rest, Gonna go to the place that’s the best. When I lay me down to die, goin’ up to the spirit in the sky.”

13. “Nothing Compares 2 U” by Sinead O’Connor

Although some people prefer the version performed by Prince, it was Sinead O’Connor who received more radio playtime with her performance. This heart-wrenching song is about the loss of a loved one, most likely through a breakup.

Rap or Hip-Hop Songs About Losing a Spouse

Are you looking for a rap or hip-hop song about loss? Read through some from the last several decades. 

14. “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa

Even though this song was written as a tribute to Paul Walker, the hero in “Fast and Furious,” who died in a car crash, its message may speak to someone who recently lost a spouse. “It’s been a long day without you, my friend, and I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again.”

15. “Tha Crossroads” by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony 

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony gained wide acclaim with “Tha Crossroads,” a song about the death of family members and friends. It’s a popular choice for many funeral songs.

16. “Like You’ll Never See Me Again” by Jacob Banks

You won’t see a dry eye in the house if you play this song at your loved one’s funeral. The chorus includes these lyrics: “So every time you hold me, hold me like this is the last time. Every time you kiss me, kiss me like you’ll never see me again. Every time you touch me, touch me like this is the last time. Promise that you’ll love me. Love me like you’ll never see me again.”

17. “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?” by Al Green

Even though the Bee Gees also recorded this song, check out Al Green’s version, about the loss of a loved one. It includes the following lyrics: “How can you mend this broken man? How can a loser ever win? Please help me mend my broken heart and let me live again.”

What Music Do You Want to Have Played at Your Visitation or Funeral?

While some of these songs won’t work for a funeral, this list may cause you to think about your own eventual end-of-life services. What songs do you want to have played at your visitation or funeral?

Would you prefer a playlist that includes happy, upbeat songs? Maybe you like traditional funeral music, including spirituals or hymns. 

Let your family members know your desires. While you’re at it, also tell them whether you prefer burial or cremation and choose a final resting place for your remains. Your family member and friends will appreciate your loving, thoughtful act of preplanning your funeral when your time comes. 

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