The Beatles song played at Linda McCartney’s funeral

Following his split from Jane Asher in 1968, Paul McCartney fell into the arms of the love of his life, Linda McCartney, née Eastman. They married in 1969 and never looked back. Through the split of The Beatles in 1970, Linda was at Paul’s side as a devoted confidante. After nearly a decade of Beatlemania and public harassment, McCartney opted for the countryside lifestyle, raising his four children, Mary, Stella, James and Heather, in the tranquil setting of High Park Farm in Scotland.

Over the years, the family enjoyed a slower life than that of the Beatles era, with Linda joining her husband in Wings in the 1970s. After Wings disbanded, Paul continued in his solo exploits while Linda focussed on her photography and took a firm stand in the Animal Rights Movement, founding her popular eponymous vegetarian and vegan food company in 1992.

Sadly, Linda was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1995 and finally lost her battle with the disease in Tucson, Arizona, on April 17th 1998. Naturally, the loss came as a brutal setback to the McCartney household and Paul was met with a bitter reminder of his mother’s death some four decades before as he looked to comfort his children as a widow.

In his statement announcing Linda’s death, McCartney recounted his final words to her: “You’re up on your beautiful Appaloosa stallion. It’s a fine spring day. We’re riding through the woods. The bluebells are all out, and the sky is a clear blue.”

“I had barely got to the end of the sentence when she closed her eyes and gently slipped away,” he added. “Our family is so close that her passing has left a huge hole in our lives. We will never get over it, but I think we will come to accept it, total heartbreak.”

Linda was cremated in Tucson, and her ashes were taken back to England, where Paul spread them on the McCartney family farm in Sussex. A memorial service was held at St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London with friends and family in attendance, including George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Billy Joel, Elton John, David Gilmour and Peter Gabriel, among a congregation of 700.

During the service, the 1970 McCartney-penned Beatles song ‘Let It Be’ was played as a touching tribute to Linda. The song was originally written as a break-up song for the Beatles. While the Fab Four were recording music for their final two records in 1969, tensions rose to fractious levels as Harrison became frustrated with McCartney and Lennon’s dominion, and the latter became increasingly withdrawn under the spell of his relationship with Yoko Ono.

One night during this difficult period, McCartney was visited in a dream by an angelic embodiment of his mother who told him to just “let it be”. Upon waking, McCartney was inspired to write about the experience: “When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom… Let it be,” McCartney recalled, adding: “I woke up with a great feeling. It was really like she had visited me at this very difficult point in my life and gave me this message: Be gentle, don’t fight things, just try and go with the flow, and it will all work out.”

The Beatles’ classic became relevant once again at Linda’s funeral service. Where the song had once offered maternal comfort to Paul at a time of abject turbulence within the Beatles, it would now offer strength to his children as they faced life without their mother.

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