LOGAN – From the time of birth, people are programed to die. Sometimes death is quick and sometimes it lingers. When it lingers, there is a group of ladies in Cache Valley who try and bring peace and comfort to people and their families as a loved one passes.
The Cache Valley Threshold Singers would like to make their songs of comfort available to anyone dealing with death and dying. They profess not to be associated with any faith groups and they offer comfort at end-of-life situations.
During those difficult final days, a group of ladies from a local chapter of the Threshold Choir International look for opportunities to come and sing peaceful music to ease the burden during a person’s final hours.
“We are a group of women who gather to sing spiritual and comforting songs at the bedside of those who are seriously ill, at a crisis or at life’s threshold,” Leslie Black, the local founder of Cache Valley Threshold Singers, said. “Our chapter was established in 2019 and we are part of nearly 200 chapters around the world.”
The pandemic has made things difficult for the group. They no longer can meet to practice or go to bedsides.
“It takes a while to get a good technique,” Black said. “We have over 30 core songs we sing, then suddenly we couldn’t.”
No one could go into hospitals or nursing homes then, or now. As the group gets vaccinated, they hope to be able to continue to bring comfort to people in person.
“We recorded 18 songs and provide them for free,” she said. “The service must be requested through an email and the music is copyrighted so we have to get permission from original artists to use it.”
Currently, there are 17 members of the group. They are devoted to the music and love what they do.
“We had Zoom rehearsals every Tuesday night after COVID,” Black said. “There is recording of the music we use to learn the harmonies, but we haven’t heard each other sing (together) for over a year.”
Buffy Evans, the co-director, collated the different parts into beautiful music.
“As the groups administrator I took it upon myself to contact all of the hospitals and nursing homes in the area and let them know about our service,” she said. “I got them the music and gave them instruction on how to use it.”
There is a lot of spiritual and mental preparation that goes into each session.
“We try and meet together before we sing and just sit in silence and try and soak in the atmosphere of the room,” she explained. “In between numbers there is a long silence where the spirit settles in the room.”
The music is meant not to trigger memories, instead they want to demonstrate compassion, peace, grace, and love using lullaby voices.
“We are honored to be asked to help during their time of loss,” the retired Kindergarten teacher said. “We share the sacred gift of our voices to do something that we feel is important.”
After each experience they find it hard to walk out of the room. They meet together to talk about what they witnessed. After each experience they stay together, hug, talk about what happened to help them prepare and become more sensitive for the next one.
“There are songs for babies who are in intensive care units,” Black said. “I love the music; it touches my heart so deeply.”
The Threshold Singers are still here and look forward to serving the surrounding communities in Cache Valley with their songs of comfort. Contact them at https://www.facebook.com/CVThresholdSingers.