Lawrence Threshold Choir to sing for the dying

Lawrence Threshold Choir to sing for the dying

A group of women in Lawrence are practicing some new songs that they would sing softly at the bedsides of those near death to distract their attention from pain and anxiety.

Anne Haehl, a member of Lawrence's new Threshold Choir, said they would go to a hospice setting, hospitals or homes and sing the purposely created songs at the bedsides of people who are going to die.

Defending their decision and stressing on the need of new specially created songs, Haehl said when a person near death hears a familiar song, it holds him/her back.

Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care's CEO Elaine McIntosh said pointed out that there is a long history of music at the threshold to death.

Speaking on the topic, McIntosh said, "Monks hundreds of years ago chanted at the bedside of a dying person. Harpists played when death was imminent. Music is about relaxation, even a distraction for those in pain and anxious."

McIntosh admitted that nothing could fit all, stressed that the idea for the choir was very interesting. One of the specifically-written songs for the Threshold group is "Guide Me," which says guide me through the darkness, light, and seas of doubt and through the sacred, starry night.

The first Threshold Choir was started a few years back in California. Over the past years, it has grown nationwide with chapters in more than one hundred cities. The newly created Lawrence Threshold Choir is the closest to Kansas City.

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