Resources for Loss

“12th of Never” by Johnny Mathis, contributed by Karlee White (2023)

This song by Johnny Mathis was my grandma’s favorite, and she would write these lyrics in every anniversary card she wrote to my grandpa. The significance that this song serves to me is that on this last anniversary, their 60th, my grandma wasn’t able to write the anniversary card on her own anymore and needed the help of my mom to express the love that my grandparents shared during their time together. Seeing that this last year was the last anniversary they spent together, because my grandma passed away a few months later, this song has acquired special meaning. The everlasting love that my grandpa still has for my grandma even in her physical absence is a love that most aspire to have.

The song perfectly relates to eternal love through its acknowledgment of flowers and plants and the growth that is consistently occurring within them. The idea of loving someone until the “12th of Never” seems fictional and similar to a fairytale, but this love is real and is essential, as the song explains. As the song reads, “I need you oh my darling like roses need rain”: this puts into perspective the necessity of love and relating the life and growth of a rose to the inevitable loss of life reveals how natural and real love is. There is beauty in love’s naturalness, and this song perfectly connects the beauty in feeling such raw emotions for someone. Even when excluding romantic love, this song can relate to love within a family as this form of love, especially for one who has passed away, is filled with raw, real, and vulnerable emotions that are inevitable but also eternal and last until the 12th of Never.

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