S3E11: Comfort and Honor

Today’s focus is on comfort. We nurture and comfort people at both their births and deaths. This week we are talking about the comfort that the Arlington Ladies bring to the bereaved at Arlington National Cemetery. Arlington Ladies make funerals a time of comfort, honor, and remembrance.  Charlie reports about the power of a good beer at the end of life, along with a recipe for “Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins”.  We also welcome singer/songwriter Ray Boone for our segment “Everyone Dies Wakes the Dead”.  Get your tissues out, these songs are real tear-jerkers.

Who are the Arlington Ladies?

According to the Arlington National Cemetery, the Arlington Ladies are a group of volunteers who attend funeral services at Arlington National Cemetery to ensure that no Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Coast Guardsman is buried alone.

Today, the Air Force, Army, Navy and Coast Guard all have Arlington Ladies who perform similar volunteer duties, attending funeral services for active duty service members and veterans. The criteria to become an Arlington Lady is different for each military service, but each Lady has some connection to the respective service, generally as a current or former military member or as a spouse of a military member. The Ladies are an official part of the funeral service, representing the military service’s chief of staff or equivalent. They present cards of condolence to the next of kin from the military service chief and spouse on behalf of the service family, and from the Arlington Lady herself.

The Arlington Ladies selflessly serve, they say, because it is an honor for them to let families know the military has not forgotten the service their loved one gave to the United States. And their service, like that of the Soldiers they honor, is representative of the military’s value of selfless service.

What can you do in your own community?

Think this is an honorable venture, but live nowhere near Arlington? How about thinking about ways to reach out to those who are alone in your own community? Marianne and Charlie share several ideas of simple things any of us can do to ensure no one dies alone. Or better yet – reach out to them while they are still alive!

There’s many things we can do to comfort others and keep them from dying alone, in the spirit of the Arlington Ladies.

Songs to Wake the Dead

For our Third Half segment called “Everyone Dies Wakes the Dead” we have invited songwriters to send us a recording of two of their original songs that could be played at a funeral, one that is appropriate, and one that is likely not.

The artist of the week is Ray Boone. His Florida roots are a mixture of Country, Americana and a new genre, Tropical Americana Coastal Trop-Rock. He penned all his new EP releases of “Native Son”, “Island Songs” and “Lignum Vitae Man” and co-writes with some well-known hit singer/songwriter/producers such as Phoenix Mendoza and singer/songwriters Keesy Timmer and Walker Hayes. His recordings also have been played on television shows “Legacy Trails”, “Ray Van Horn’s Captains Journey” (Sportsman Channel), and Family photo frame (PBS). Ray is signed with BMI. Several of his songs are being pitched to major artists, located on Music Row in Nashville.

Ray’s song “Fishin’ Alone” is a song about the death of a friend and could fit with anything two people would do together to have a memory. You can read the lyrics below:


Smooth water, sweet weather
Thought I could keep it together
Shoot, guess I shoulda known better buddy…my bad now  
Ain't gettin no bites, just nibbles
Workin that worm & feelin a little 
Crazy, talkin to an empty swivle seat on the bow…
Oh, we had some good times cuttin up  
Oh, I wish they did but...

Fishing buddies don’t live forever ya’ll
Do yourself a favor for me give yours a call
Meet em on the water wet a line with em
Catch another memory & hang that biggun on the wall
Cuz you’re gonna thank the lord for em
On that blue mornin
You’re trying to be strong fishin alone 

Why’d the Lord have to take you right now?
Hell, why’d he wanna fish with you anyhow?
We both know you could’nt catch a largemouth
Heh, with a stick of dynamite

Fishing buddies don’t live forever ya’ll
Do yourself a favor for me give yours a call
Meet em on the water wet a line with em
Catch another memory & hang that biggun on the wall
Cuz you’re gonna thank the lord for em
On that blue mornin
You’re trying to be strong fishin alone 

The second song for the category that could be played at a funeral, and it’s very appropriate, Ray chose “She Had Something to Say” which is about the death of a spouse after many years, being left behind, but not ready to let go. His uncle’s wife died and for years went to her grave to leave flowers and talk to her.

Something to Say
Ray Boone –Lee Bogan April 20th, 2011 -BMI

He’s up early every morning and puts on his very best.
His 80 years shows in his walk up to where she’s laid to rest,
It’s been over a year now since the lord took her away,
He still comes to talk to her as if, she had something to say

He still keeps the faith that they’ll be together again,
Share memories of a good life and love of his best friend.
But for now he needs to talk to her just to ease his pain
Just like back in the day when she had something to say

When they were young they fell in love and began to realize
That what they had together would last for the rest of their lives.
They leaned on each other, the perfect pair in every way
And to this day hears her voice as if she had something to say
They had a love that would stand the test of time
But the years flew by and now he’s left behind
So he hangs on to the memories with a visit each day
He misses the time when she had something to say.

He’s up early every morning, and puts on his very best...

Thank you Ray for these beautiful songs! You can learn more about his music at his website here:
Ray Boone www.rayboone.com
Music can be purchased from CD Baby and Apple Music

Are you a singer songwriter that has something to share? See the info at the bottom of the page on how to have your music features.

Recipe of the Week

As we talk about comfort, what better than the blueberry muffins with crunchy sugar on top! This recipe is from the former Jordan Marsh department store in New England. You can no longer get them there (they were bought by Macey’s), but you can get the recipe here from New England Today and make it for yourself! Let us know if you tried it – Marianne sure loved them!

References and Resources:

Calling All Songwriters!!!

As a songwriter, ‘Everyone Dies’ is inviting you to showcase your original work on an upcoming podcast.

There are many wonderful songs that could be played at a funeral. We also know there are songs that could be played, but are cringeworthy (e.g. Ding Dong the Witch is Dead; Another One Bites the Dust; Ring of Fire, etc.).

We are inviting you to send us a recording of two of your original songs (i.e. that could be played at a funeral, one that is appropriate, one that is likely not) to be included in the third half of the ‘Everyone Dies’ podcast. We will include as many artists over the next year (maybe longer if we are enjoying the segment) as possible.

What we need:
Go to this link, fill out the form and submit it along with your two original songs in .wav or .mp3 format (i.e. two original songs that could be played at a funeral, one that is appropriate, one that is likely not). We will screen them and let you know what week your work will be included. We will include all your information in our show notes so people can purchase your recordings.

Cowboy playing his guitar by a coffin, and a dog howling. Coffin is vibrating... Learn about songs to wake the dead. Learn about funeral music at Every1dies.org

From Everyone Dies:

Everyone Dies: and yes, it is normal!

Everyone Dies (and yes, it is normal) is a story about a young boy named Jax who finds something special on the beach where he and his grandpa Pops are enjoying a wonderful day. Pops helps Jax understand that death is a normal part of life. This book provides an age appropriate, non-scary, comfortable way to introduce the important topic of mortality to a preschool child. Its simple explanation will last a lifetime. Autographed copies for sale at: www.everyonediesthebook.com. Also available at Amazon

Mourning Jewelry
mourning jewelry earings

We offer a way to memorialize your loved one or treasured pet with a piece of handmade jewelry.  When people comment on it and the wearer can say for example “I received this when my mother died” which opens the conversation about this loss. All our jewelry is made with semi-precious stones and beads, vintage beads, and pearls. You can choose between earrings or bracelets and the color family. Learn More

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