The Choral of Death

Death has always been proud for it seems like no one is capable of overcoming it. Many are scared of it.

Mrs Chinwe, an important personality in the Federal Ministry of Works who just rose to the position of the Minister of Works in Nigeria had just returned from an official trip in the United States.

Having figured that it was already late in the night when they arrived, she decided she was just going to rest in her home. She told her Personal Assistant to let her entourage know that she was headed to the house.

The information got to everyone of them and excitement filled the air as many had not seen their family members in 2 months due to series of meetings, trainings and dinners.

As Madam Chinwe headed home, she was having a chit-chat with her Personal Assistant. As she discussed  her vision for the Ministry of Works, she suddenly felt a sharp pain in her chest region and before Jack, she collapsed.

For some seconds, everyone was confused. They did not know what to do. Someone among them then screamed “HOSPITAL!!!”.

As they journeyed to the Hospital, everyone had different thoughts going on in their heads. While some thought it was because of the stress, others thought she had offended someone in the government who had sworn to deal with her.

In the midst of all that, they were interrupted by the security man at Alpha Clinic – “Why una plenty laidis?  Who una dey find for this kind time of the night?” which simply meant “Why are you guys plenty like this and who are you looking for at this time of the night?” (for my non-Nigerian followers).

Immediately someone responded from the car saying it’s the Minister of Works, they were eagerly allowed to go through.

When they got into the clinic, a series of test was conducted and it was discovered that she had cancer of the colon which had eaten deep into her body.

The Doctor further mentioned that there was little to which chemotherapy could do as she had about 2 months to live.It was a devastating moment. At least for people amongst them who truly cared about her.

Mrs Chinwe’s family was later contacted and informed. It was a painful, sober and tearful moment for them.

For the first few weeks, it was a pool of tears and pain in the hospital until this very day the Music Therapist, Fiona Akinwunmi walked into the hospital after returning from her leave of absence.  She was moved with so much empathy and then decided to begin taking sessions with Mrs Chinwe and her entire family.

She engaged them actively in music as they sang many songs laced with hope.

Day after day, the family got better and Mrs Chinwe’s death got nearer. On the final week before her death, they sang the song “When Peace like a river attendeth thy way, when sorrow like sea billows roar, whatever my lot thou art taught me to say It is well with my soul”.

As they sang this song, there was still pain.

However, with much hope they began talking about their favourite memories. There was this glow on Mrs Chinwe’s face as they sang and listened to music.

There was peace all over her.

The Music Therapist had helped the family deal with the painful thought of Death by echoing songs of hope over and over again while helping them bond. She had also helped Mrs Chinwe approach death with tranquility.

The Choral of death was sang and it healed their hearts, bringing peace as they approached the death occurrence.

While writing this story, it occurred more to me that a lot of patients with terminal illness will have probably been able to come to terms with their present state with tranquility if music therapy was introduced. I understand that Death is terrible and no one wants to watch their loved ones pass on especially when pain torments them.

Here is what I discovered; Music becomes therapeutic for dying patients and families of dying patients as they approach their last days. It also helps them relive memories that have be long forgotten and if recorded can bring the family succor when the person passes on.

Music Therapy might sometimes not improve a dying patient’s prognosis but it could distract them from the pain, the boredom, fear, frustration, anxiety they feel thereby helping them relax.

You will agree with me that the news of death coming soon for a patient is enough to cause an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, this is where Music Therapy comes in, it lowers blood pressure and heart rate. Patients become less agitated when Music Therapy is administered.

All of these is not to insinuate that Music Therapy does not help terminally ill or dying patients recuperate but to let you know that it can also be administered in a way that it makes them meet death with peace.

Whether Live or recorded music or engaging a patient with song writing, improvisations on a musical instrument, singing, lyrics analysis, guided imagery and so on, Music Therapy works perfectly for dying patients.

I would have loved to keep typing on the benefits of Music to dying patients but I’d not want to make this lengthy, so here is a video and an article below this post that can give a practical side or feel to this subject.

Let me know what you think about this post. I love reading from you.




8 thoughts on “The Choral of Death

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