People commemorate death in countless ways. Some hold lavish funerals. Others prefer intimate gatherings at home, sharing stories about the departed. Some people also like to maintain a somber tone throughout the occasion while others like a livelier celebration of the life lived by their beloved.
There is no right or wrong way of mourning the loss of someone. It just depends on how loved ones want to remember their loved one. One of the most popular parts of a funeral or burial service is playing songs. These songs symbolize the life and death of the person, whether it was chosen in advance or picked by those who are survived by the person.
Music truly has the power to put into hymn and words what we sometimes can’t. Songs also help us cope with our feelings and make sense of what we are currently going through. That’s why many include songs as part of the service.
It was a song written by Joe “Red” Hayes and Jack Rhodes, with Hayes once saying: “The song came from my mother. Everything in the song are things I heard her say over the years. I put a lot of thought into the song before I came up with the title. One day my father-in-law asked me who I thought the richest man in the world was, and I mentioned some names. He said, ‘You’re wrong, it is the man with a satisfied mind.”
Many covered the song but one that was completely taken by it was singer, Jeff Buckley. He covered the classic back in 1992 but little did he know that this was the song that would be played in his funeral five years later.
Let us explore this song one line at a time.
How many times have you heard someone say / If I had money, I would do things my way / But little they know that it’s so hard to find/ One rich man in ten with a satisfied mind
Most of us accord our success with how much we earn in a year, how many places we got to travel to or how many cars our houses we own. However, it’s very rare for us to associate satisfaction and happiness with self-contentment. Far from the material world, it’s not often we think of our personal accomplishments that count for feeling “rich”.
Those who are on their deathbeds often regret not spending enough time with the people they love or they never really got to do what they want. They spent most of their days believing that money made the world go around.
Money can’t buy back, oh, your youth when you’re old / A friend when you’re lonely, oh, peace to your soul / The wealthiest person is a pauper at times / Compared to the man with a satisfied mind
When we get old, we often wish we had more time in this world; we wished we would have spent it differently with only the people that mattered. That’s why those who learn to transcend the material world and be satisfied beyond how much they earn feel a lot more fulfilled. They believe they’ve done enough in their lives and regret very little.
Nothing truly is better than having a satisfied mind. When we know that we spent out life on Earth doing what we loved most with the people we loved most, we emerge from it much more peacefully.
When my life is over and my time has run out / My friends and my loved ones, I will leave them, no doubt / But one thing’s for certain, when it comes my time / I’ll leave this old world, oh yeah, ooh yeah, with a satisfied mind
Dealing with death makes us think about our own death in the future too. We begin to backtrack and review just how much we’ve done in this world that leave our hearts feeling content. We begin to ponder as to whether or not we’ve lived it fully so far.
In turn, we also think about our departed loved ones. Whether they left this world content or not; whether they also wished they could’ve spent it differently. This makes us want to make the next days, weeks, months and years to count. This makes us want to truly live our lives as it’s meant to be lived.
One thing’s for certain, when it comes my time, oh yeah / I’ll leave this old world oh, with a satisfied mind / Mind, mind, mind, mind, satisfied mind
Death does have this certain effect on us. We start thinking about how ephemeral everything is and that what we need to do from here on out, is to aim for a satisfied mind. After all, it’s not your riches that will count. It’s how well you’ve lived and loved.