We promise to enhance the quality of time by ensuring that neither pain nor declining symptoms will diminish the character of a patients remaining days, weeks or months. The second promise we make to our patients and families is that they will not feel alone.Seasons Hospice engenders hope in the lives of its patients and their family members. We are here for you.
Calvin has a song.You just dont know, he said, leaning back into the careworn recliner in his living room. First, I was serving in the Air Force during the Vietnam War; then, I was a fireman; then, I got cancer. And now... now, I have a song. You just dont know what this means to me.Music has transcendent qualities- it can affect us in ways were not even aware of. It can remind us of amazing times weve had. In Calvins case, it helped him leave a legacy. Calvin worked with a Music Therapist and several other team members from Seasons Hospice to turn one of his poems into a song entitled Who Cares. He not only wrote the words for his song, but with a Music Therapist facilitating the process, he was able to choose the style, structure, tracks, key, and instrumentation. He even played the shakers on the recording!Calvins song will live on with his family as a legacy project allowing them to stay connected to him for years to come. While his song is a wonderful token for them to keep, leaving a legacy wasnt the only benefit. People may not think about it much, but music can have a profound physical effect on us, including easing pain. Listening to some of our favorite tunes can provide a welcome distraction from unpleasant symptoms. More often than not, the experience of pain is lessened or goes away completely while enjoying music.Music affects bodily functions that we think are beyond our control, including heart rate, blood pressure, and the release of our bodys natural painkilling chemicals. Even when people are no longer conscious or speaking, we can console and comfort them through music.Living with cancer can be incredibly painful. While painkillers are often used to alleviate symptoms, music therapy can be used where medicine falls short. Seasons Hospice employs more board-certified Music Therapists than any other organization in the country, precisely because of the physical and emotional power of the music interventions they are able to provide.In the end, Calvin was able to fulfill a lifelong dream of writing and recording his own song. He found a new sense of pride, hope, and happiness in his legacy project, and the burden of his passing was lessened. His spirit will live on through his song and lyrics.Editors Note: Soto Flouris is the Executive Director of Seasons Hospice & Palliative Care of Colorado. He can be reached at 720.504.1309 and email at: sflouris@Seasons.org