Months after Zach Sobiech died, his song about heaven is still racking up views on YouTube—over 7.7 million to date—and even spent some time in the top spot on the iTunes music charts. “Clouds” memorialized Sobiech’s faith in God and hope in heaven, according to the Huffington Post.
Sobiech was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer, when he was 14 years old. Doctors told him in May 2012 that he had only months to live. During his fight with cancer, he wrote songs as a way to say goodbye to his family and friends. Following “Clouds,” Sobiech and his friend Samantha Brown released an entire album using the band name A Firm Handshake. The album, called Fix Me Up, included all original songs. Sobiech flew to New York to finalize a record deal with Broadcast Music Inc. shortly before his death. A documentary of his last few months, called My Last Days, has garnered over 9 million views.
Jason Mraz, The Lumineers, and Phillip Phillips even did a cover of “Clouds.” People from all over the world, including a Gulf War veteran and school children from Japan, wrote to Sobiech to tell him how his song and story moved them.
Sobiech died on May 30. He was 18 years old. The family held his funeral at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Stillwater, Minn., where the family went to church for 20 years.
Sobiech’s music touched “people who were in a very dark place,” Rev. Mike Miller, who helped conduct the funeral, told the Huffington Post.
In the documentary, Sobiech said he wanted to be remembered as “a kid who went down fighting, and didn’t really lose.”
“Our faith kept us from despair and kept our eyes focused on what is truly important—eternity,” Sobiech’s mother, Laura, told the Huffington Post.
Laura Sobiech recently signed a deal with Thomas Nelson to write a book about Zach, according to TwinCities.com. Some people are also trying to have his album included on the soundtrack of the upcoming movie, The Fault in Our Stars, which is based on Sobiech’s favorite book.