Sail on Singers provides comfort to hospice patients through music


MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – Sail of Singers is a group of volunteers who sing songs of healing and comfort to patients living in hospice care.

“We are a group that wants to make kindness audible,” said Corinne Rockow, Sail on Singers member. “I feel that it’s an honor to be able to share with people who are crossing over in a way they may be able to receive it where they may not be able to receive greetings and kindness and warm and compassion in other ways as they’re crossing over on the threshold.”

The group was started by a woman named Patience over five years ago in Marquette, but it’s part of a national program.

“As opposed to it being entertaining, it’s more to provide comfort,” said Mary Craik, Sail on Singers member. From what I’ve seen, and the rest of the group too I think has seen it at times is that people that are in hospice and getting toward the end of life, sometimes you may go in the room and you may see that they are visibly agitated. Maybe emotionally or physically or in pain or something like that, and sometimes we’ll sit down and start singing and you will see that person visibly calm. Where there might be tremors or just whatever all of a sudden they become very calm. It seems to affect different people different ways, but so many people have a connection with music that it takes them to a different place.”

One of the people the group sings to is Margaret who lives at the Trillium House.

“We’ve been singing to her for quite a few month,” said Craik. ‘And we sing a hymn that she chose as one of her favorites and so we rehearsed it and so when we sing for her, we sing that hymn. And she’s asked us before to sing patriotic songs and sometimes we add those things and so it can kind of be catered to a specific request that a person might have, music that might be close to their heart.”

Sail of Singers was featured in Local 3’s special presentation, Season of Giving. To watch the entire show, click here.

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