Hello Athiest Nexus.
A dear friend of mine who is also an atheist recently lost his mother and a mutual friend of ours, both to cancer. I'm putting together a little box of condolences for him, but I'm quickly discovering the coping-with-death market is dominated by religion. I'm trying to avoid any reference to an afterlife because it seems like it would be cruel and callous. I'm giving him The Year of Magical Thinking by Didion, and I'm trying to make a mix tape that he can listen to and cry it out but by the end feel a little bit better. So far, I have Dan Savage's May 1st appearance on This American Life, Monty Python's "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life", and 7 seconds' "Mother's Day" . I wanted to fill the rest with something sweet and easy on the ears, like the Ink Spots or Leonard Cohen. Maybe toss in an Eels song or the Mountain Goats, the kind of music that has the potential to be really heartfelt. He's a big Elvis Costello fan.
I figured someone on here would have some suggestions, or know these artists like the back of your hand and pop up with the most appropriate song. I'd really appreciate any input or suggestions of songs that are genuinely touching but not awful.