Music at the End of Life: Easing the Pain and Preparing the Passage

Music at the End of Life: Easing the Pain and Preparing the Passage

Music at the End of Life: Easing the Pain and Preparing the Passage

Music at the End of Life: Easing the Pain and Preparing the Passage

Synopsis

The belief in the healing power of music dates back to antiquity. Today, the concept is widely accepted in the United States, and finds perhaps its most profound practical application with patients at the end of their lives, when practitioners bridging medicine, music, and spiritual care offer symptom relief and support to dying patients and their families.

Excerpt

The “Religion, Health, and Healing” series brings together authors from a variety of academic disciplines and cultural settings in order to foster understandings of the ways in which religious traditions, concepts, and practices frame health and healing experiences in diverse historical and social contexts.

The present volume offers extraordinary insights into the work of contemporary music-thanatologists. These professionals provide hundreds of Americans with what can be considered the ultimate healing: helping dying patients and their loved ones through the transition from life to death. Jennifer Hollis, herself a music-thanatologist, shares her sense of the power of music to soothe the body as well as the soul, creating a “sacred space” even in high-tech hospital rooms. As Hollis writes in this book, “When we move past what medicine can cure, outside the reach of language, and beyond what we feel we can bear emotionally and spiritually, the unique qualities of music and a loving presence can provide comfort, breathing room, and the hope for peace.” the stories that emerge from these moments at the bedside can provide hope and insight to those who suffer from a terminal illness and those who care for them, as well as insights into the very meaning of healing.

In this volume, as in other books in this series, we see that the word healing in and of itself is multidimensional and multifunctional. It can mean the direct, unequivocal, and scientifically measurable cure of physical illnesses. It can mean the alleviation of pain or other symptoms. Healing can mean integration and connection among all the elements of one’s being, reestablishment of self-worth, connection with one’s tradition, or personal empowerment. Healing can be about repairing one’s relationships with friends, relations, ancestors, the community, the world, the Earth, and / or God. It can refer to developing a sense of well-being or wholeness, whether emotional, social, spiritual, physical, or in relation to other aspects of being that are valued by a . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.