You are here
A Concert for Arthur
It was described as a “living wake.” So often, friends and family gather only after a loved one dies to say a final goodbye. Thanks to the help of Community Hospice (Washington, D.C.), Arthur LeVan had the opportunity to savor two things he cherished – opera music and sharing it with people he loved.
“The opera performance turned out to be kind of the grand finale,” explained his daughter Lisa LeVan Haarman. “Two weeks before it, the staff at Community Hospice made it possible to have his grandson christened at the hospice facility so he could attend. Then a week later, they arranged a piano recital. Even though my dad was dying, he was literally asking me, ‘So, what are we doing this weekend?’”
One of the lasting memories for Lisa is how the opera performance ended. “It was really unplanned when the concert concluded,” she recalled. “My dad had been in a reclining chair on wheels to be comfortable during the concert, and when it was over my sister turned him around and said, ‘Dad, I want you to look around the room and see everyone who loves you.’
“The room gathered and sort of made a line on either side as we exited the atrium where the performance was, and people were able to give him a handshake or lean over to give him a hug or a kiss, or to smile and say goodbye. I’m sure my dad didn’t necessarily think of it as saying goodbye to people because his spirits were so high the rest of that day, and he felt really loved.”
Arthur died three days later.
“I think to be able to die with dignity, and to be comfortable, is what we should all have the opportunity for,” Lisa said. “He enjoyed music his whole life, right to the end, and that was really a gift. Hospice made that moment possible. He was able to live his life to the end with great grace and great dignity.”
To learn more about The Washington Home, click here.
Your comment coming soon.