If you had any last words to the world out there, what would they be?
It’s likely impossible to imagine.
Those of us who have never had to confront death directly or indirectly run on the false assumption that there’s still time. Time to say more, reach out more, travel more, live more.
Russian-born twin brothers Jody and David Levi created an artist project called Titi Woo. David was then faced with a diagnosis no young person can imagine, leukemia. In his final few months, as a terminally ill young man he pondered this question we asked at the beginning: “If I had any last words to the world out there, what would they be?”
In “To All Who’s Out There (לכל מי שקיים)” Jody shares his brother David’s answer.
The song is half in Hebrew, and half in English. The first verse (which David requested to be engraved on his gravestone) is in Hebrew, which translated goes as follows:
“All those who exist should exist, otherwise they wouldn’t
Not everyone who exists must exist
I was afraid to whisper that into the water”
It’s sung in David’s gentle and conversational tone over gentle strumming of an acoustic guitar. There is a brightness to his voice and a slight urgency to his tone as if he’s really imploring us to listen. We can do nothing but listen with utmost attention.
Then we are launched into an exquisite, life-affirming chorus:
“Somebody really, really loves you/ Forever
Who will never let you disappear,
You’re still here
Everything is perfect
The combination of David’s captivating tone over the easiness of the guitar and the bright, soaring cinematic string arrangement creates something that can only be described as magical. Speaking directly to the fear of being forgotten that so many of us have about death, David reassures us: “You’re still here.”
There is an incomprehensible peace in his voice that we can only believe him.
“But what happens after we die?” We ask ourselves repeatedly in a world that doesn’t understand death.
“Everything is perfect/ You’re here,” David answers us again with a conviction in his voice over sweeping string textures that land us right there alongside him in a state of incomprehensible peace.
What a gift to leave behind – a song in which we’re all invited to live forever, be loved forever, and to never disappear in the eternal life of music.
P.S See the music video below in which animator Anastasia Miasnikova brings life to paintings that David created during his stay in hospital
Best listened to while: Doing absolutely nothing, this is a song to listen to with zero distraction.
Listen for this moment: 01:51 with the lush string arrangement just electrifying this song to new heights
Watch the video:
Listen to the song: