There Aren’t Many Songs That Can Make Me Cry

… but one of them is “Breathe Me,” by Sia.

Partly this is because of how it was used to close out HBO’s outstanding drama series, Six Feet Under, one of the best television series of the 2000s. The rest is a quirk of timing.

If you never caught it, Six Feet Under was a show about death. Or, more precisely, about how death affects the living, viewed through the eyes of a family of undertakers, whose family business it was to attend to the deceased and provide rituals through which their survivors could start to cope with their grief.

It was a great show, but its high point was undoubtedly its final episode, which showed — in seven minutes — how each of the characters we had watched over five seasons grew old and, over the next eighty years, died. Behind that entire sequence, “Breathe Me” played in the background. It was brilliant television.

I found this sequence tremendously affecting when I originally watched it back in August of 2005. But it became even more so for me a few weeks later, when my mother died. To this day I still remember sitting in the hospital, after the doctors had told me that there was no hope. In my head, as I wrestled with this fact — as I attempted to come to terms for the first time with the cold truth of mortality — this song, still fresh in my memory, played.

So yeah, it makes me cry, even now, nearly five years later. And I imagine it probably always will.

You got a problem with that?