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Thank You, Avicii: What ‘Wake Me Up’ Meant to a Daughter of Divorce

Music is a powerful art form. When news broke that 28-year-old DJ, Avicii, was dead I could only think of one thing. How, through one song, he helped me deal with my parents’ divorce.

Several years ago, my parents sat me down in a quiet room to tell me they were getting a divorce. The news haunted me, especially in the silent space. I was shocked. There were no signs that this was coming — at least not that they showed me. I couldn’t speak as the tears rolled down my face.

As I got in the car to make the long journey back to Nashville, I was still speechless. I had an eight-hour car ride ahead of me and was alone with the radio and my thoughts. Nothing was helping to ease my pain until I heard a familiar song. As the guitar strum of “Wake Me Up” took over my speakers, I couldn’t help but listen. I turned up the pop station and the words filled the car.

So wake me up when it’s all over, / When I’m wiser and I’m older, / All this time I was finding myself, and I, / Didn’t know I was lost.

There was something about the song’s chorus that really spoke to me. I desperately wanted to fast forward time to when I was through the hardest part of this. I wanted to be older, wiser and wanted someone to “wake me up when it’s all over.”

For the next several months, I played “Wake Me Up” daily. When my thoughts got the best of me, I played it. When I needed some positivity, I listened to the words. Avicii’s hit helped me heal.

Over time, I stopped being able to hear the song without getting upset. When I’d started to cope, it would take me back to that difficult time. All those feelings would come rushing back to me. Luckily, the song has come full circle and now I’m really able to appreciate how it helped me through a dark time.

For that, I want to thank Avicii. His song meant more to me than anyone can understand and it’s still my favorite of his songs. (I do love “Levels” but that takes me back to clubbing in Bangkok and that’s a different story altogether.)

Have you had a similar experience with one of Avicii’s songs? Email us at or comment on the post below. We want to hear from you — and we want to share your stories.


  1. “Wake Me Up” has had a profound impact on our lives as well. My big brother, Rick, always had a great pulse on music. From taking me to “Dancing in the District” down on Nashville’s riverfront to our last night together at the Imagine Dragons concert at Fontanel, he always had a taste for great music. His last top pick for us was “Wake Me Up.” Rick died in a car accident in August of 2013. The morning of his funeral, my sister played it on repeat as we were getting ready. Ever since, that song has resonated with my family. We hear it at the oddest times and in the strangest places. I’ve been all over the world and would hear it in a shop in Poland or at a restaurant in Mexico City. Just last week I was on Bourbon Street in New Orleans and needed a pair of sunglasses. I walked into a random store and it was playing. We’re confident that it is Rick’s way of sending his love–because life’s a game made for everyone and love is the prize.

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