Near the end of April, 2019, a dear friend and ex-housemate of mine, Nabil, passed away at the age of 57. It was a shocker. He was still young and doing amazing things with his life. During the memorial service, held at the Chapel at Forest Lawn Cemetery, I recalled a poem I had saved in my cell phone from a year before—Do Not Stand at my Grave and Weep. Later at the grave site, I passed by several people sobbing quietly in their handkerchieves. Knowing that my friend's spirit would have liked to console them, I decided then and there to set Mary Elizabeth Frye's famous poem to music. Its message of transcendence and continuation was timeless and worthy of being heard with a memorable melody.
A few weeks later, I sat down with the poem and, after struggling with some structural hurdles (the subject of future blog), I composed music that I felt did justice to the words.
Then I thought, 'Since this poem has been around for 87 years, surely others have written music to it.' So I spent a few hours on YouTube listening to dozens of musicalized renditions and realized that none of them were like mine. I had something new to offer those who might like to hear my version or perform it at a memorial service, funeral, or even a vocal audition.
This website is the result of my labors. I hope it serves those looking to express Frye's and others' sentiments in settings where it is appreciated.