We are a musical people. While we sat in her hospital room waiting for her to cross over, we sang all the old songs Mom had sung to us. She was laboring to breathe and on a heavy morphine drip. I felt she was waiting for someone- and the only one she had not heard from was my daughter. My older sister and her daughter had spoken to her- we held the phone up to her ear.
On a hunch, I played a video I had on YouTube of my daughter. I said to her- “Mom, Here’s Kristen” and held the computer up where she could here it. Here is the clip of my daughter singing ‘Remember Me”
It seemed to help. Or at least it helped me. She did seem calmer. So I continued on playing youtube vids- as my voice was raw by then. I played this Judy Collins number- Mom’s favorite hymn. She would tell the story of how the Bishop wept when I sang this at Confirmation.
She grew calmer yet, though still struggling to draw each breath.
Then I searched around and found another song she wanted played at her funeral- wanted to find a Pavarotti version- but none of them were good so went with this one.
When I was hunting around I had seen a Scottish song- and her Mom was off the boat from Arbroath Scotland. Nana always sang as well- My Mom and her brothers and sisters could SING! King family got nothing on our family lol! I had thought the next selection would be something with bagpipes- Mom always loved them- but this with the Irish Tenors sounded so much like my uncles- I played this
She grew very calm, closed her mouth and took three completely normal unlabored breaths. I stood up to go and get the rest of the family who were in the waiting room across the way. My niece was coming in, with her Mom behind her. I looked back- and Mom had flown away home.
The Music lives on. The unending hymn of praise.
For those not of the Catholic faith- or not Christian. Scripture tells us, and the Eucharistic prayer echoes it, that in Heaven, the angelic choir sings always and forever, without end. Crying out HOLY! HOLY! HOLY! Lord God of Hosts!
Mom always said of me, that music touched me (I cry over music a lot lol- and live to sing!) She said that God had blessed me with a memory of that heavenly choir.
So the words of this hymn to me are true. Mom’s life flows on in endless song- above earth’s lamentation. I hear the real though far off hymn.
She sings now in the heavenly choir.
Save a place for me Mom. I sing on. I am still in rehearsal here on Earth. Someday we will sing together once more.