Let It Be

I know you’ve seen the video, everyone has. It’s been emailed and remailed, Facebooked and Twittered, blogged and Gathered, clogging cyberspace with the message: Let It Be. At first I thought that perhaps this was the answer to my confusion over the death of my mate of thirty-four years. Just go on with my life and let it be. Forget my grief. Forget the pain of losing him. Forget trying to make sense of it all. Just . . . let it be.

My second thought as I continued watching this very looooong and repetitive song (Sheesh! What was Paul McCartney thinking when he wrote it? Not much, apparently) was how my mate would have enjoyed seeing all those faces as they are today. We have so many of them in his movie collection, and they are always that age, the one they’d reached when they made that particular movie (such as a much younger Sherilyn Fenn in The Don’s Analyst or a very young and fit Steve Guttenberg in Surrender).

My third thought was let what be what? And that’s where the thoughts stalled — in a semantics word jam.

I finished watching the video, thinking nothing, just watching the parade of faces, but now I’m wondering if Let it Be is really a philosophy I want to embrace. It seems too accepting of life’s vagaries and not enough of . . . well, embracing.

The whole purpose of going through grief is to process the pain and the loss, to mend your shattered life and heart so that one day you can embrace life in its entirety once again. I haven’t dealt with all these months of tears, anger, frustration, emptiness, loneliness, pain, just to spend the rest of my life letting it be. I want to let it be me — the one who’s strong enough not to have to simply let it be.


Pat Bertram is the author of More Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fire,  and Daughter Am I.


Filed under life, musings, Pat Bertram, writing

7 responses to “Let It Be

  1. Let It Be is an inspirational song. The lyrics encourage you to come out of grief. To realize that we can take grief in our stride and yet have a life ahead. God bless…

  2. Well done, Pat … on many levels.

  3. I have interpreted Let it Be as a Daoist (Taoist) expression that means there are many ways to “see”, and that everything’s connected, so that no one person or thing is ever really in full charge. I thought the line means that if one can give up one’s own linear thinking and ego (letting it be) long enough, this truth is there. I’m likely wrong in my interpretation but I’m sticking to it.

    • Sounds like a good interpretation to me. Oddly enough, despite my claims to the contrary, my first thought on hearing the words let something loose in me — a willingness to let the past be, I think. Makes the present easier to handle. Also, I realized that his life is not for me to interpret, so I’m letting that bit of egotism go, too. Letting him be.

  4. christinehusom

    I actually haven’t seen the video. But I think it’s cool you thought of how your mate would have loved to see the pictures in it. At his concerts, people hold up lights during the song, and it is seems like everyone is united, committed to getting through whatever trouble they may be facing.

    Good post and I like everyone’s take on it. Paul’s song has a different meaning for me, going on what I’ve read from his interviews. “When I find myself in times of trouble, mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, let it be.” His mother Mary died when he was young and he wrote it thinking of her. She came to him in a dream telling him things would be alright.

    In addition to his own troubles, he also addressed the world situation. The year was 1969, a time of war and tumoil (as now). “And when the broken hearted people living in the world agree, there will be an answer, let it be. For though they may be parted there is still a chance that they will see, there will be an answer, let it be.” But those words certainly work with those brokenhearted and parted by death.

    They played the song at his wife’s funeral, when Paul needed comfort and peace. I personally find a great deal of comfort in the words and the melody.

  5. I wrote a follow-up to this article. Letting It Be Despite my claims to the contrary, I did let some of it be.

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