1 John 4:19. Our love for others is our grateful response to the love God first demonstrated to us.
Comfort Music for the Hospice Resident
ComfortMusic.ORG’s primary goal is to provide soothing “live” Christian and secular music for individuals in the end stages of life. As one doctor describes it, “It is as if you are taking someone to the airport gate and they are flying out on a one way ticket, never to return.”
Music has always been known as the worlds’ universal language. It often lessens the pain, worry and provides a pleasant distraction. One of the last senses to leave a person in the final stage, is the ability to hear.
I'll share a story about relief by distraction. Mary, one of the residents I was playing for said she did not think she would benefit from my playing for that day because she was not feeling comfortable. I told her just let me play some of the songs and see how it goes. After playing a different song I learned from the 60’s, “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” by the Kingston Trio, Mary said it was her late husband’s favorite song. She had some tears in her eyes, not from pain, but from fond memories of better days.
If we have the ability to play and the desire to serve, then the blessings from the most highest God will be bestowed upon us. It was like taking Mary back in a time capsule. This is only one example of the value of comfort music. Live performance far exceeds a recording, just like a phone call pales in comparison to a personal visit. Also, the reason for older secular songs may be more appropriate for residents to relate with.
Guitar players are not limited to playing for hospice patients. Many other residents love to hear music and have visitors. If I have time and energy, I will play in the cafeteria or commons area where a lot of residents like to hang out.
We need to be sensitive and realize not everyone enjoys music. If they don't want to hear it, then that is fine. I've had residents that appreciated my past visits and then at other times not wanting me to play. Care environments are not static, so things change. I know, for women, their frequency range is higher and more sensitive. Acoustic guitars can be squeaky and annoying for some. When I play for the very end stage residents, I play and finger pluck as gently as I can and sing softly.