Holding People With Music In Their Final Days – Music Therapy In Hospice Care

Most of you know the work we do in early childhood here in Jackson. Most of you know we work with individuals with special needs of all ages as well. These moments are easy to share. Easy to show. Easy to relate to.

Some of you may know we work in group homes and retirement facilities. Some of you may know we do work in memory care and Alzheimer’s units weekly in Jackson, too. Helping people use music to recall memories, moments, or to just live in the present with music.

How many of you know we work in Hospice? Harmony Garden has a contract with a hospice that serves the Jackson and Lansing area. Our team sees patients in Jackson and Lansing that are on hospice service every week.

This week has been an emotional ride in hospice for me. I want to share with you, just briefly, a glimpse into how I use music to hold these families.

Music therapy is powerful. It draws spouses away from the daily tasks and worries they are bombarded with, and gives them permission to take time just being with their loved one. It allows couples who love deeply, moments where they sit or lay together, singing, listening and sharing music.

Music therapy provides family and friends a safe space where songs and lyrics are used to say goodbye, as the loved one on hospice care finds a way to let go. The songs and music chosen during these times is powerful. Stamps of sound paired with moments, to be remembered by the ones left behind. I know this personally, as they are always remembered by me as well. Songs I learn for these families are forever stamped into my life as songs for them. This is a huge part of WHY music works the way it does as therapy.

I give music. I give memories. I give hugs. I give permission. I give breaks. I give support. I give tears.

I gain music. I gain memories. I gain hugs. I gain trust. I gain footprints in my heart by each and every person I meet as I do this wonderful job.

Some weeks are more emotional than others, and because of that, I share this with you.

Take a moment and hug someone you love. Hold them. Tell them “I love you”.