Sometimes, when there are no words left and the tears will no longer fall, there is music, and that music can heal broken hearts.
That’s what the writers of this new song, “Goodbye My Friend,” hope it will do.
“So many people have experienced senseless loss over the past several years” wrote famed Nashville songwriter Tim Nichols in a Facebook post on Feb. 21 alongside a video featuring a song he wrote with another Nashville hit-maker, Jim Beavers. “From the loyal country music fans watching Jason Aldean on the streets of Las Vegas to numerous schools hit by unexplainable violence, the tragedy seems never ending. This song I wrote with Jim Beavers is in tribute to so many lives lost and is dedicated to the survivors. Families, friends and entire communities are mourning special individuals that were taken too soon. I’ve put together some images of the recent victims and students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to our song … May it honor their spirits and lift up those left behind.”
The video features a collage of photos of all the victims of the latest senseless act of violence, which happened in a Florida high school on Valentine’s Day.
While some country music might not recognize Tim and Jim’s names, chances are that they would recognize their music, as the two have written songs for everyone from Alan Jackson to Trace Adkins, and Keith Whitley to Toby Keith.
The plight of all those dear students who saw 17 friends and teachers gunned down in the hallways and classrooms of their school on Feb. 14 has weighed heavily on the hearts of so many throughout the past week. Yet, despite the fear they must still feel, the students are now preparing to go back to school on Feb. 26, with teachers and staff heading back on Feb. 23.
“Instead of students coming, they’re just bringing in the staff to have time together, to talk and get emotionally ready,” said Anna Fusco, Broward Teachers Union president, in an interview with CNN. “They want to be there for their students, just like they were when the shooter came in. At the end of the day, just be loving, compassionate and caring [for students]. This is a first for everyone there and they’re not going to have the answers.”
“It’s time to go back,” explained Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School math teacher Jim Gard to CNN. “I want to get back to the students. I want to get back to my classroom and get things going again and realize we’re stronger than this. Our staff just needs a lot of reassurances. If we want to talk about it we’ll talk about it. I’m certainly not going to avoid it.”
While we can’t pray that this new song will heal hearts completely — broken hearts have a way of sticking around thoughout one’s life — we do hope it lets the healing begin by paying tribute to 17 amazing people who didn’t deserve to see their lives end.