Celine Dion is arguably one of the most talented singers of our time. Her vocal range and clarity and the depth of emotion she brings to her performances is astonishing. At 48, she has recorded dozens of top hits, including the iconic “My Heart Will Go On” from the blockbuster movie, “Titanic.”
Many of Dion’s recordings are love songs. And literally dozens of them are appropriate for a memorial or celebration of life. But the one that resonates most strongly with me is “Because You Loved Me.” Although she recorded it long before the death of her husband and mentor Rene Angelil in 2016, it seems like a fitting to tribute to her life partner and their relationship of 22 years.
Written by Diane Warren, “Because You Loved Me” was the theme song for the 1996 movie “Up Close and Personal” and received a Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media the following year. It begins with a heartfelt declaration of gratitude:
For all those times you stood by me
For all the truth that you made me see
For all the joy you brought to my life
For all the wrong that you made right
For every dream you made come true
For all the love I found in you
I’ll be forever thankful baby
You’re the one who held me up
And never let me fall
You’re the one who saw me through, through it all.
Who among us doesn’t feel this way about someone in our lives? Whether they are a partner, a parent, a sibling or a close friend, each of us has someone who has helped us keep going when life seemed like too much to bear. I know I certainly have more than one person in my life to whom I will be forever grateful. Yet, I also know that I don’t express that gratitude often enough.
The refrain continues the sentiment beautifully:
You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn’t speak
You were my eyes when I couldn’t see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach
You gave me faith ’cause you believed
I’m everything I am
Because you loved me.
Love is incredibly powerful. When someone loves us unconditionally, they give us the freedom to make mistakes and the room to be who we are. They don’t protect us from life; they allow us to fail. But they also let us know that they’ll be there for us when we do. And then, they are.
Listen to Celine Dion sing “Because You Loved Me” in the video below, and read the full lyrics here. Keep the song in mind for the next time you need to plan a memorial service for someone you love. But even more importantly, keep its message in your heart today and always, and remember to express your love and gratitude to your loved ones each and every day.