Celine, 45
Lakas, 8

Your song/songs?

“Bulletproof,” La Roux.

(I am answering in the way I can do: about my son Lakas, rather than myself.)

My living son chose the song “Bulletproof” for his little brother Lakas who died suddenly when a common virus attacked his healthy heart. Lakas died within 24 hours of getting it, and I had no idea he was dying while I stayed with him and took care of him. Every time I hear the song, he comes back, why he liked it, his style, his love for life, and inclusivity, with this woman’s voice.


It is the perfect song because he loved it. He was 8 when he died and this is not a mainstream song. He somehow knew it and played it. He had a life beyond my knowledge, which is true about music and friendship and school and beyond.

How was it shared?

My living son played it during his eulogy—and it was smack in the middle of his talk, towards the end of the memorial. And people would send me pictures of them engaging with the song, or it would come up somewhere else and people would reach out to me. It’s a surge of joy.

His no-go songs?

He would not want the word GOD or LORD mentioned, just like me and his grandma, too. He went on a plane once, and said “no one was up there in the sky”: there was no heaven, essentially.

It is good to remember that, because he endured death, and the mystery of where he is now is something I hold on to; like his death, it happened so out of my control. Life is out of our control no matter how powerful one feels. We hold no power over it and I am comfortable in that powerlessness.