Palace of Care – Exit Song

Photo by Braxton Apana on Unsplash

They were supposed to be touring Europe at this time of the year. The tickets had been booked and a deposit had been paid for before the first bout of illness. After he had recovered from it they sought medical advice on whether or not to travel.

“It’s likely to never happen again. Stick with your travel plans.”

After much consideration, they decided to cancel their trip. Their deposit was lost but they felt they couldn’t risk him becoming unwell overseas.

Five weeks later their decision proved itself to be the right one. His illness recurred and MRI scanning revealed a likely brain tumour. Plans were made to take a biopsy, but this was thought to be too dangerous to attempt due to breathing issues. The Oncologist reviewed all the results and the decision was made that treatment would not be helpful and that they should prepare for his death.

It was the worst possible news but they took it on board with their usual pragmatism. They wanted to be prepared and started planning his funeral. They chose the funeral director, it wouldn’t be a religious service but the choice of music was important. He had always loved singing along to his favourites. It had to be the right song for him. They wanted something which would fit with his views on life and death. Something that resonated with him.

They had in mind Judy Garland’s version of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” They were discussing the song choice with the hospice doctor when she suddenly pointed at the wall.

“Look, over there.”

Outside of the room, hung from the skylight window, were several crystals. Somehow through a wonder of reflection and refraction, a rainbow was being projected onto the wall of his hospice room. They had chosen the right song.

He sang along to the song as it was played. The mobile phone owner described herself as, “too pragmatic to cry.” Tears streamed down his cheeks, as he wondered if he would be granted his dying wish.

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