Bedside Visits – Singing for the end of Life

Though we are currently unable to make visits to the bedside of people at the end of life, the Companions are still meeting online to share and sing together. We are still willing and able to offer our songs and companionship to those at the end of life by means of an online platform, should this be helpful and possible.

We also recognise that, because of this unprecedented situation, many people are unable to visit the bedside of those they love and cannot meet to mourn them in the usual ways. We would like to offer our songs and solidarity to you too, should you feel this might bring some comfort. Please contact us if you wish to request an online visit in either case. We never charge for our visits, whether in person or online.

For the future, when it is possible again, here is how we usually operate:

At any time, people who would like to have singing at their own or a friend or family member’s bedside can contact their local group and arrange for a small number (probably between two and four members) to come and sing. This may take place in a family home, residential home, hospital, hospice or wherever the person happens to be. There is no charge for this, though if people want to make a donation to Companion Voices they are free to do so.

bedside

Courage Sister, Courage Brother – you do not walk alone
We will walk with you, and sing your spirit home…
~ Buddhist text. Music by Olefemi Hughes.

How to Arrange a Bedside or Online Visit

  • Please contact us and let us know the best time and method to call you back
  • We will be in touch to arrange a visit and answer any questions which may arise

What to Expect on a Bedside Visit
(Most of this also applies to online visits, though we may be fewer in number.)

  • Once a visit has been arranged, you can change your mind at any point, just let your Companion Voices contact know and we can reschedule if you would like to.
  • On the day a Companion Voices member will contact you to confirm you would still like us to visit (we understand that things can change on a day to day basis and your loved one may not feel up to it, may have other people visiting, medical things to take care of etc etc).
  • There will be 3 or 4 of us singing, maybe more if you have indicated there is enough space.
  • If you will be there during our first visit, perhaps you could meet us outside and show us where to go. If not, you can just let us know and we will make our own way in.
  • We will gather outside your loved one’s room and then enter together, usually humming.
  • We sing songs that have been chosen to serve the purpose of creating a soundscape that will be comforting, relaxing and undemanding. To this end, they are simple and repetitive, drawn from a wide range of different traditions, and may have words in other languages.
  • We may sometimes leave  a short space between songs, to let them settle.
  • You don’t need to do anything for us or make conversation during our visit, feel free to sit and absorb the singing with your loved one.
  • Tears are welcome, so please don’t feel you need to keep anything in.
  • Visits last from 15-30 minutes, depending on the individual circumstances.
  • At any time you can signal for us to leave, we will always follow your lead as you know your loved one better than we do.
  • At the end of the visit we will leave quietly. You do not need to ‘see us out’ unless of course you wish to.