The Last Thing She Hears

I paused outside this darkened room, and I was unable to see the patient because the curtain was drawn.  The family arrived as I was playing and invited me into the room.  The patient was lying in bed and was actively dying.  The family moved around the room sitting in various places where they could see the patient.  The patient’s mother stood at the foot of the bed watching the patient closely, her eyes occasionally filling with tears.  Two visitors began to cry openly as the patient’s mother said, “How lovely it would be for her if this is the last thing she hears.”  I played a number of familiar songs and hymns as the family quietly watched the patient’s breathing become slower.  I slowed my playing as the patient’s breathing slowed, and after a few minutes of this, I quietly moved out of the room to give the family some privacy.  The patient’s mother followed me out the door and thanked me.  She said, “I’m so grateful you were here today.  Earlier in her stay, my daughter had commented on how beautiful the harp music was.  This is a fitting end.  I know she thinks she is in Heaven already.”

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