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Music of life in death

In our EndNotes column yesterday, Cathy wrote an excellent explainer concerning music-thanatology, basically harp music played in the hospital rooms of the sick and dying.

When my mom's wonderful companion of four years, Hollis Ladd, was dying at Sacred Heart Medical Center three years ago, a music thanatologist named Donna came to the room twice, and she played the harp for 30 minutes.

Two of my great-nephews, Max and Sam, happened to be there and they were quiet all the way through, even though Sam especially was in a rowdy stage and only about 7.

I looked out the windows to the clouds passing by, looked at Hollis in a coma, peaceful in his face, and it remains, to this day, one of the most peaceful memories of my 56 years.

This is powerful healing music. If you have a loved one dying in a hospital, ask if music-thanatolgy is available.

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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.