Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Power of Song - A Real Life Story

Just this past week I was reminded of the power of song.

I mean...I am reminded almost daily of the power of song with the families that attend classes at Musicalia.  What I mean is the POWER of song to relieve pain and give comfort.

My grandmother (I call her Baba) was admitted to the hospital last week.  My Baba was diagnosed with pneumonia and because she is 96 years old, the doctors were not so encouraging.  They were telling us she would "go downhill" and that would be the end.
Here's Baba!
Her photo taken at my birthday breakfast last Sunday
showing Baba, my mom and myself just 2 days before she was admitted to hospital.
Strong family resemblance between us all!

Thankfully (with the help of antibiotics & modern medical testing) she is a strong person and seems to be recovering!

While we were waiting for a bed for her, she remained in an emergency treatment room at the hospital.  I went into this room early one morning before work.  She was in pain and uncomfortable.  Baba is also blind so relies on others to let her know what's going on.

After making sure she was warm enough, had some moisture on her lips, the bed was at just right angle, a cold cloth to bathe her brow, she tried to relax.  It was pretty noisy in the emergency room though and as I was to be standing at her bedside for a couple of hours, I started to sing very softly.

I sang a Ukrainian folksong she used to sing to me when I was little.  Now, I don't speak Ukrainian but I do know this song in Ukrainian.   I sang it softly so as not to wake the other patients and I wasn't sure she could hear me.  I was a little worried my singing might be an irritant with all the pain she was in and with all the other noises around her.   

By the third word, a huge smile broke out on her face!  
"Oh! My favorite song!  Is that you Susie?"
I said it was and she actually went to sleep with a huge smile on her face. 

I kept singing but with tears streaming down my face.


  1. Thank you for a beautiful and moving story! My wife (Meg Nobel) is a Hospice nurse, AND a musician. I will share your story with her too.
    Mike Nobel, Gorham, Maine

  2. Thank you for your comment, Mike. I imagine your wife has many stories she could tell similar to this one.

    I too have spent time with patients in hospice care (not as a nurse though) and those experiences live on in my heart.

  3. What a sweet story, Susan. Thank you for sharing it, and I hope your Baba remains well and joyful!

  4. Dear Roia,
    Thank you for your message and yes, my Baba is recovering nicely. She is still in hospital and waiting for a new placement in a home that will offer more hours of nursing care, and she is in good spirits. We are all so grateful that she is still with us!


Comments welcome

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