No matter how old you are, losing a parent is one of the most devastating experiences a person has to go through. Even as an adult, you’re never ready to lose your mom or dad.
And watching your parent’s health decline, knowing that the end is near, is a painfully emotional process.
I’ve been there with my father; he passed away ten years ago. Many of you have been there, too. While the acute grief eventually lessens over time, the loss never fades away.
And when you see singer James Blunt’s latest poignant video, you’ll get it- because you’ve been there.
James Blunt’s newest video for his song, “Monsters” is a tribute to his dying father, and is both beautiful and heartbreaking.
James Blunt is a British singer best known for his romantic 2004 hit, “You’re Beautiful”.
Although he’s had several hits since, his latest song is truly one of his most raw, emotional gut-punches of tragic brilliance.
Blunt shared his father’s health issues publicly last year when he appeared on the popular morning show Good Morning Britain. His dad, Colonel Charles Blount, was diagnosed with Stage 4 chronic kidney disease.
At the time, Blunt was pleading for any potential organ donors, stating,
My father has not been very well, actually. He needs a new kidney and a kidney donor.
Sadly, Blunt’s father has been unable to be matched with a donor, and his health has continued to deteriorate.
Shortly after learning of his father’s grim diagnosis, Blunt penned the song, “Monsters” as a tribute to his dad.
Although it certainly wasn’t an easy song to write, it was a chance for James, as he explains, to tell his father the things he’d never said:
Really that has been an amazing moment, because when you realize your father’s mortality, it’s a great opportunity to say the things I’d like to say to him.
The video opens with a close-up of Blunt’s face, as he sings the lyrics. His pain is immediately obvious on his face; it appears hard for Blunt to maintain his composure throughout.
(*cue the tears*)
And then we see why:
James’ father is sitting next to him in the video.
(*ugly-cry in full effect*)
For anyone who has lost a parent (or is on the verge of the experience), the song is both painful and cathartic.
You feel James’ pain, and understand it, and it makes you wonder for a moment- what would you say if you had the chance to tell your parent all of the things you never got to say?
James put his own final thoughts into words.
And they’re heartbreaking.
They describe the role-reversal that takes place when we, as children, have become adults and are now the caretakers & protectors of our ailing parents.
And while you’re sleeping, I’ll try to make you proud
So daddy, won’t you just close your eyes?
Don’t be afraid, it’s my turn
To chase the monsters away
(I know. I cried reading it, too.)
Sleep a lifetime
Yes, and breathe a last word
You can feel my hand on your own
I will be the last one, so I’ll leave a light on Let there be no darkness in your heart
James is letting his father know that he will be there at his father’s last moments, making his passing a peaceful one. And while that’s one of the greatest gifts we can give our parent, it’s also one of the most painful.
And the chorus. OH, THE CHORUS:
We’re just two grown men saying goodbye.
It’s hard to hear without weeping, but it’s one of those refreshing, needed cries. Because losing a loved one is pain like no other. And sometimes, you need to just go with it and feel it.
“Monsters” is a brilliant bawl-fest, and the video is now going viral after being shared on Twitter by Star Trek actor William Shatner and Jame Blunt himself.
But Blunt had the good sense to at least warn people about the emotional waterfall that could ensue; the caption he wrote with the video clip on Twitter was a simple:
Don’t watch this.
Do not watch this. https://t.co/ODJRQjKqvd
— James Blunt (@JamesBlunt) January 15, 2020
And yep, the video is included here in full. If you dare…
WARNING: Do not view this video if you are having a great morning. Or if you’re in public and there are no tissues handy. Or if you’re PMSing and already feeling a bit weepy.
Expect the emotion. And maybe, just maybe, go with it. Because mortality is a heavy thing to face, for a parent or a child. But sometimes we need to embrace the reality of its grief… even if it’s after the loss.
(And if your parents are still with you, give them a call. Just because.)