Saturday, March 10, 2007

A story from our harpist

Sent by our harpist:

I want to share a short and poignant story from yesterday in the lobby (names are changed).

As I was playing, two distraught-looking women were drawn into the harp's music. I asked if everything was okay and Nancy told me her husband was upstairs actively dying.

I asked if she would like me to play for Paul and she was simply thrilled. I said it was my job here and my pleasure. Nancy told me her daughter, who was in the room, is a music therapist.

As I began to play, everyone started to cry. Nancy got onto the bed with Paul and everyone actually sang along to any familiar music I played. When I finished with Danny Boy, the daughter followed me out to thank me and hug me saying that everything I played had meaning for the family. She was so grateful and appreciative.

I told her the music was a gift from the hospital and that the greatest gift was surrounding her father with such love and peace at his final hour.


carolegarden said...

You were paying attention when you saw Nancy in misery facing her husbands imminent death. But then you did something most don't do. You spoke to her acknowledging what you saw and you offered support. It seems so simple when summarized. It seems easy to offer. But it is seldom actually carried out. Just that moment of reaching across to break that aloness. We can all do it. Thanks for reminding us....

Anonymous said...

This patient was on our unit, actually in the room across from my office. Many of the staff had become very close to this family and did many little things to bring comfort to this family, including ordering last time together favorite take-out meals, assisting with grandchildren visiting etc. They are a wonderful family.
I will never forget Ms. Harpist hearing the beautiful music coming from that room as you played for them. I know it brought great peace to this family and tears to many of us on the unit. Mr. H. died within a couple of days but not before he told us that he had heard an angel calling him through your music.
What a wonderful gift for this family. Thank you.